COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- A whole new set of challenges looms this weekend for the Tennessee Tech cross country teams as they head to the Florida State Invitational. The races will be held at twilight Friday for coach Wayne Angel's runners.
All five runners need to score for Tech, which is entering just 10 total runners in the event. In addition to that challenge, the Golden Eagles will be facing an extremely tough field, continuing the trend established early this year by the first-year coach. Already in 2014, Tech runners have competed against higher-level competition at meets hosted by South Carolina, Indiana and in Louisville.
"We want to approach this weekend in the same manner in which we approached our last two competitions, with a laser-like focus and a high level of intensity," " Angel said. "Those meets provided us with a great opportunity to evaluate where were as a team and as individuals.
"We are now into October and heading to the Florida State Invitational this weekend, as well as into our championship phase of training," he added.
"If our training these past two weeks serve as an indication of our level of fitness and resolve, then I expect to see some very good performances. These young men and women are highly motivated and on a mission."
The meet will be held at the Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Fla. The women's 5K race begins at 5:20 p.m. CT, while the men's 8K event is slated for 5:45 p.m. CT.
The Tech women's lineup will include Yeshi Dohrmann, Baylee Balgemann, Anna Cooper, Lera McNamara and Landry Loving. The Golden Eagle men's lineup will feature Geoffrey Sambu, Brennan Huber, Wesley King, Ian Barclay and Daniel Williamson.
Women's race will include 29 teams, including nine Division I teams -- Auburn, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida State, Jacksonville, South Florida, Stetson, Tennessee Tech, UCF and UL-Lafayette. The men's race will include 30 teams, featuring 11 Division I squads -- Auburn, Florida A&M, Florida Atlantic, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida State, Jacksonville, South Florida, Stetson, Tennessee Tech, UL-Lafayette and Vanderbilt.
NCAA rules provide that team competition will only be scored by Division, with Division I schools competing against each other, even though the student-athletes will be running against squads from all divisions.
College teams competing will get the opportunity to preview the course Thursday frm 3 to 7 p.m., and Friday from noon to 6 p.m. ET. Following the two college division races, the meet will include seven high school races with more than 100 high schools participating.
Click here to view FSU Invitational information (PDF)
Complete results of the race will be posted on TTUsports.com when they become available.