Sept. 9, 2009
By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Invitational, which was scheduled to be held on Sept. 19 at Lambert Acres Golf Club in Maryville, has been canceled, UT's cross country coaches announced on Wednesday. The teams instead will travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to compete in the 21st annual Crimson Classic at Harry Pritchett Running Park on Sept. 18.
"We decided to cancel the home meet, because it was not going to be well-attended, UT Director of Track & Field/Women's Cross Country Coach J.J. Clark said. "We wanted to have some good, quality teams at our home meet, but this year it just wasn't going to happen.
"We had an opportunity to go to Alabama, which is the site of the NCAA South Regional in November. While we will miss running in the home meet, this gives us the chance to go down there with our team and get a feel for the course prior to the regional. We look forward to having a better field next year at Lambert Acres for the Tennessee Invitational."
"We are going to try and turn a negative into a positive, UT Men's Cross Country Coach George Watts said. "While it always is exciting for our guys to have the chance to run on our home course in front of family and friends, we will now get an opportunity to see the regional course.
"Looking at the big picture, the championship meets are our focus, and this will help us in that regard. This also will expose us to some really good competition, and we are excited about the challenge."
The race distances will be the same as they would have been at the Tennessee Invitational. The Crimson Classic will feature a women's 5,000-meter race at 5 p.m. Central Time and the men's 8K affair at 5:30 p.m. CT.