For the fifth straight season, the Tennessee women's cross country team will stage its opening act in Music City. J.J. Clark's Lady Vols, who return three all-region caliber runners, will kick off their 2009 season at the Belmont Opener in Nashville on Sept. 4.
UT, which won on Percy Warner Park's 4,000-meter Vaughn's Creek Course in 2007 and posted runner-up efforts in 2005, 2006 and 2008, will toe the line at 5:30 p.m. Central Time in the debut event of Clark's eighth season at Rocky Top.
Meet number two will feature a joint venture by the Big Orange women and men, as the 10th edition of the Tennessee Invitational is contested on Sept. 19 at Lambert Acres Golf Club in Maryville. The ladies' 5K affair is scheduled to go off at approximately 9:15 a.m., with the UT women aiming for their eighth team victory at the meet. The Lady Vols will run for the first time in four years without Sarah Bowman, who graduated after winning Tennessee Invitational titles in 2005 and 2008, and earning All-America (2008), All-South Region (2006-08) and All-SEC acclaim (2005-08) during her career.
For the sixth straight year, Clark will take his troops to Bethlehem, Pa., to compete in the Brooks Paul Short Run at Lehigh University's Goodman Campus Course. Tennessee finished sixth out of 43 schools a year ago at the 6K race and will attempt to improve upon that outcome in 2009 in the 11 a.m. competition.
After alternating between the Penn State National Invitational and the NCAA Pre-Meet the past several years, Clark opted to join the UT men in traveling to Charlottesville, Va., for the Panorama Farms Invitational on Oct. 2. The 6K race, hosted by the University of Virginia, is expected to have a late afternoon start, but no official time has been announced.... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.