By Layne Weitzel, TTU Sports Information
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Tennessee Tech men's cross country team will race for the first time since early September when it travels down south for the Mountain Dew Invitational this weekend. Tech has never before appeared in the meet.
Hosted by the University of Florida at the Mark Bostick Golf Course, the men's collegiate 8k will be the first race to go off at 6:55 a.m. CT.
"The Mountain Dew Invitational is one of the better meets in the south," said head coach Wayne Angel. "It is a very well-run meet, and they have excellent facilities.
"This competition will be a valuable experience for the team. It will help us to evaluate our level of fitness as well as show us how we stack up against regionally ranked teams in head-to-head battles."
Tech, still ranked 11th in the latest USTFCCCA South Region rankings (one spot behind host Florida), is up against a field that includes teams from across the southeastern United States:
- Ave Maria
- Edward Waters
- Florida (10th in the latest South Region rankings)
- Florida A&M
- Florida Atlantic
- Florida College
- Florida Gulf Coast
- Florida International
- Florida Tech
- Miami (FL) [14th in the latest South Region rankings]
- North Florida (ninth in the latest South Region rankings)
- Palm Beach Atlantic
- Saint Leo
- South Florida
- St. Thomas (FL)
- Tallahassee CC
Tech has had the last two weekends off from competition since appearing in the season-opening Golden Eagle Invitational on Sept. 2, when the team placed second and sophomore Gilbert Boit repeated as the meet individual champion.
"The men have come off three weeks of intense training, and we are hoping to reap some dividends from all of our hard work," said Angel. "Our goal this week is to compete hard, improve and have fun in the process."
This year's running of the Mountain Dew Invitational has been modified due to bad weather from Hurricane Irma that affected course conditions, leading to the high school races being canceled.