LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State cross country head coach Orin Richburg announced the Aggies will participate in three in-state meets that highlight the 2011 schedule released Thursday.
The Aggies begin their tour of the Land of Enchantment Sept. 3 at the University of New Mexico's Lobo Invitational in Albuquerque for the fifth consecutive season. The following week, NM State travels to Santa Teresa to take part in the 26th-annual Lori Fitzgerald Invitational hosted by I-10 rival UTEP.
NM State returns home on Sept. 17 to host the 25th-annual Kachina Classic at the NM State Golf Course. The Aggies will look to improve on the second-place finishes that both teams turned in at the 2010 Classic.
"We feel good about our schedule," said assistant cross country coach Paul Harkins. "The three local meets allow our fans, friends and families a chance to attend the meets and support our athletes."
On the opening weekend of October the Crimson and White leave the state for the first time, traveling to Stillwater, Okla., to run in the Oklahoma State Cowboy Jamboree Oct. 1. A week later, the Aggies are slated to participate in the Grand Canyon University Invitational in Goodyear, Ariz.
In preparation for the postseason NM State travels to the Pre-National Meet Oct. 16 hosted by Indiana State University at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, site of the 2011 NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind.
"The competition level steps up at the Pre-National Meet," Harkins said. "It allows our teams to compete against several strong teams from outside of our region and from across the country leading up to the conference meet."
The Aggies open the postseason at the 2011 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championships hosted by the University of Hawai'i on Oct. 29.
Last season, Aggie Courtney Schultz took home the WAC individual cross country title for the second straight season and was named the women's WAC Athlete of the Year. Schultz finished side by side with her sister Camille Schultz who finished in second, as both runners earned First Team All-WAC honors. Overall, the Aggie women placed third with 75 points.
Meanwhile the NM State men posted their best finish ever at the conference meet, placing second overall with 66 points. Aggie Kevin Palmer led the squad with a seventh-place finish to earn First Team All-WAC honors.
The Aggies wrap up the season in November with a pair of NCAA meets. NM State treks to Provo, Utah, on Nov. 12 to compete in the NCAA Mountain Regional. The NCAA Championship meet will take place Nov. 21 at Indiana State's Gibson Championship Course.
For all of the latest Aggie cross country news, click NMStateSports.com.
NM State 2011 Cross Country Schedule
|September 10||Lori Fitzgerald Invitational||Santa Teresa, N.M.|
||Kachina Classic||Las Cruces, N.M.|
||Oklahoma State Cowboy Jamboree||Stillwater, Okla.|
||Terre Haute, Ind.|
||WAC Championships||Honolulu, Hawai'i|
||NCAA Mountain Regional||Provo, Utah|
||Terre Haute, Ind.|