Tennessee Lady Vols track coach J.J. Clark has announced the 2008 Cross Country Track Schedule.
For the fourth straight year the schedule starts off in Nashville at the Belmont Open. Senior Sarah Bowman has won the event each of the last two seasons.
Mississippi State will host the Southeastern Conference Championships for the first time since 1995, and the championships are set to begin November 3. The Lady Vols are coming off a runner-up finish a season ago and are looking to improve on that performance in 2008.
Lambert Acres will serve as the NCAA South Regional course for the Lady Vols as it did in 2002 and 2006. The Lady Vols won the regional meet on their home course in 2002 and finished third in 2006.
Last year brought an end to a five-year streak of NCAA Championships appearances for the Lady Vols and coach Clark is hoping his team can use the home course to return to the national meet.
“We're very happy to be hosting the regional meet this season on our home course at Lambert Acres,” Clark said. “It gives us an opportunity to train there and get familiar with the course and have the best chance to run well. I always believe the best team is going to win (no matter where you race), but it is just nice to have that feather in your cap. We'll take that and make the best of the opportunity.”
If things go according to plan at the South regional the Lady Vols will advance to the NCAA meet in Terre Haute, Ind. This is the sixth time in Clarks’ seven seasons as coach that Indiana State has played host the event at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course. The championships begin on November 24 at 12:05 Eastern standard time.
The Lady Vols cross country team will also host the Tennessee Invitational on Sept. 19 and travel to the Penn State National Invitational in University Park, Pa. on Oct. 17.