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USA cross country 2018 season preview

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USA cross country 2018 season preview

The South Alabama cross country team competed against Appalachian State during the 2018-19 season.

The South Alabama cross country team competed against Appalachian State during the 2018-19 season.

USA Jaguars

The South Alabama cross country team competed against Appalachian State during the 2018-19 season.

USA Jaguars

USA Jaguars

The South Alabama cross country team competed against Appalachian State during the 2018-19 season.

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MOBILE, Ala. – The University of South Alabama Cross Country teams will face strong competition during the 2018 campaign as the Jags will travel to two prestigious meets during the season in the schedule released on Friday. South is also slated to have three meets, including the Sun Belt Conference Championships, held in Mobile.

The Jaguars will open up the 2018 Cross Country slate with a pair of meets in their home city. South will compete at a neutral site meet to begin the year when it competes at the Challenge of Champions held at Langan Park on Fri., Aug. 31, and then host the Azalea City Classic a week later on Sat., Sept. 8 at the Brookley Field.

“For this year’s schedule, I wanted to focus on two things. Early in the year we race at home, and I want the team to get comfortable racing at Brookley Field as we prepare to host conference there at the end of October,” South Alabama Cross Country head coach Parker Cowles said. “Workouts help, but the best way to get to know a course is to race it. The Azalea City Classic looks like it will be a good opportunity to feel out Brookley while also racing some great regional teams.”

Both Jag squads will then travel up to Fayetteville, Ark., to close out the first full month of the season when they compete in the 30th Annual Chill Pepper Festival hosted by Arkansas at Agri Park on Sept. 22.

South Alabama will get a course preview for the postseason on Oct. 12 when the squad heads to Tallahassee, Fla., to participate in the FSU Invitational hosted by the Seminoles who are also slated to host the national regional event.

“I also wanted the team to gain some experience running in large and talented fields, to help prepare us for the Regional meet in November when well over 200 runners toe the starting line,” Parker added. “The Chili Pepper Invite at the University of Arkansas, and the Florida State Invite give us that opportunity. The Chili Pepper meet is a very technical race on a fast course and it will pit us against teams from the Midwest and South Central Regions, who we wouldn’t normally race.”

Postseason competition opens up for the Jaguars two weeks later with the Sun Belt Conference Championships on Oct. 27 back out at Brookley. This year, South Alabama will host the conference event marking the fourth time in program history to do so. South last served as host for the league championship event in 2014.

This season’s NCAA South Regional event will be held at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Fla., on Nov. 9. The Seminoles last hosted the NCAA South Regional two years ago.

The 2018 NCAA Championships will be held this season on Nov. 17 in Madison, Wis., and hosted by the University of Wisconsin at the Zimmer Championship Course. It marks the first time since 1978 that Wisconsin will host the national cross country meet as the school hosted the men’s cross country championship at Yahara Hills Golf Course.

2018 South Alabama Cross
Country Schedule

Aug. 31 Challenge of Champions – Mobile, Ala. (Langan Park)

Sept. 7 Azalea City Classic – Mobile, Ala. (Brookley Field Golf Course)

Sept. 22 30th Annual Chili Pepper Festival – Fayetteville, Ark.

Oct. 12 FSU Invitational – Tallahassee, Fla.

Oct. 27 Sun Belt Conference Championship – Mobile, Ala. (Brookley Field Golf Course)
Nov. 9 NCAA South Regional – Tallahassee, Fla.
Nov. 17 NCAA Championships– Madison, Wis.

For more information about South Alabama athletics, check back with www.usajaguars.com, and follow the Jaguars at www.twitter.com/USAJaguarSports. Season tickets for all Jaguar athletic events can be purchased by calling (251) 461-1USA (1872).

Join the Finish Line Club, the track and field and cross country specific support club of the Jaguar Athletic Fund. All donations to the Finish Line Club go directly to support the South Alabama track and field/cross country programs.

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USA cross country 2018 season preview