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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.-Virginia director of track and field/cross country Bryan Fetzer announced the 2012 cross country schedule Thursday (May 3). The 2012 slate features two home meets for the Cavaliers at Panorama Farms.

“I feel the schedule prepares us well for the ACC Championship and gives us a good opportunity to advance and move on to the national meet,” Virginia women’s cross country head coach Todd Morgan said.

Virginia will begin its season with a dual meet against in-state rival Virginia Tech on Aug. 31 in Blacksburg, Va., on the same course that will be the site of the ACC Championships on Oct. 27.

“We’re excited to get to preview the ACC Championship course early in the year,” Morgan said.

The Cavaliers will host their first meet of the campaign, the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational, on Sept. 22 at 10 a.m.

“I think we set our schedule up really well to put ourselves in position for at-large points,” men’s cross country head coach Pete Watson said. “The schedule is a little bit different than in past years, especially with the meet here on Sept. 22. We’re now bringing in a bunch of teams from other regions to gain valuable at-large points.”

The Cavaliers will travel to Madison, Wis., for the Wisconsin adidas Invitational on Oct. 12, before competing in the ACC Championships back down in Blacksburg, Va., on Oct. 27.

“The big addition (to the schedule) is Wisconsin, which is probably the most competitive cross country meet in the country, almost at the NCAA meet’s level,” Watson said. “You get three or four teams from each region, 31 teams in total line up and race. In this day and age, going to Wisconsin is important to qualify for nationals and we’re excited it’s on our schedule.”

“We’ll definitely get battle-tested at Wisconsin against a lot of the nation’s best teams,” Morgan added, “but we’re looking forward to working toward the ACC Championship meet, the regional meet and beyond.”

The last home meet will be the Virginia/Panorama Farms Open on Nov. 3, six days before the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships, held this year in Charlotte, N.C., on Nov. 9.

The 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships will be held at the E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, November 17. In January, the NCAA passed a new date formula that prescribes the national meet be held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, matching what has been done in Division II and Division III for several years.

By virtue of the calendar having the earliest possible Thanksgiving in 2012 (Nov. 22), this year’s national meet will be the earliest in DI history and the first to be held on a Saturday for the first time since World War II.

In 2011, the Cavalier women won their third NCAA Southeast Regional Championship in four years. Morgane Gay (Bethesda, Md.) of the women’s team and Mark Amirault (Walpole, Mass.) of the men’s squad earned All-America honors at the national meet.

2012 Virginia Cross Country Schedule
8/31 Virginia-Virginia Tech Dual (Blacksburg, VA) TBA
9/22 Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational 10 a.m.
10/12 Adidas Wisconsin Invitational (Madison, WI) TBA
10/27 ACC Championships (Blacksburg, VA) TBA
11/3 Virginia/Panorama Farms Open 10 a.m.
11/9 NCAA Southeast Regional (Charlotte, NC) TBA
11/17 NCAA Championships (Louisville, KY) TBA

Home meets are in bold and are contested at Panorama Farms in Earlysville, Va.

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