WATERTOWN, Wis. -- With a pair of new events and an onslaught of new faces on the rosters, the 2019 Sabercats Cross Country season is one to keep an eye on.
After finishing in the NCCAA DII national top five in 2018, the two squads are eyeing a podium finish at the season finale, and they will have plenty of chances to prove themselves before that point.
Starting tomorrow at the Dutch Invitational (hosted by Central College in Pella, Iowa), the Sabercats will test their limits in six events before competing for the NCCAA DII national title in November.
It's slated to be a memorable season:
|Dutch Invitational||9/6||Pella, Iowa|
|Tom Hoffman Invitational||9/14||Whitewater, Wis.|
|Warrior Invitational||10/5||West Allis, Wis.|
|Bethel Invitational||10/11||South Bend, Ind.|
|Wis. Private College Champ's||10/19||Green Bay, Wis.|
|Oshkosh Open||10/25||Winneconne, Wis.|
|NCCAA Nationals||11/16||Point Lookout, Mo.|
- The Sabercats will compete at the Dutch Invitational and the Tom Hoffman Invitational for the first time.
- The Men's Team always runs an 8,000-meter race while the Women run either a 5K or a 6K.
- NCCAA Nationals will be hosted by the College of the Ozarks (Lookout Point, Mo.) at a venue that proved unusually difficult last season.
- Over half of the events will be in Wisconsin.
- The teams can qualify for NCCAA Nationals at any race during the regular season. Qualifying methods are outlined below.
- Five of the eight Men's runners are new to the program.
- The Women's Team returns four veterans and welcomes three rookies.
The teams could qualify for NCCAA Nationals as early as tomorrow, as the NCCAA has outlined various qualifying methods for the season finale:
|Team||Men||3:00:00 8K (36:00 avg)|
|Team||Women||2:05:00 5K* (25:00 avg)|
|*includes 5K splits|
If the teams meet the team-qualifying time, they can run as many student-athletes as they see fit at the national championships.
ROOKIES AND VETS
Four runners return to the Women's Team: Haly Hendricks, Sierra John, KatieJean Lingle, and Anna (Heins) Rossiter. New runners Abigail Doak, Taylor Ellis, and Abigail Shetter are newcomers to the squad.
The Men's Team returns James Rossiter, Jefferson Rupert, and Drew Smith. Newcomers Nathan Bixby, Jeremy Fopma, Jordan Hoffman, Heath Holmes, and United States Army veteran Eric Schmid will be lacing it up for the Blue and Gold.
The Dutch Invitational (Central College/Pella, Iowa) will be the first stop on the 2019 campaign. The women's 6K will start at 6 a.m. while the men's 8K will begin at 6:45 p.m.
Find directions and results at mbusabercats.com/schedule.