Oct. 11, 2001
Tennessee's cross country squad will line up for its fourth race of the season Saturday at the Furman Invitational in Greenville, S.C. The 8K race will be held at the Furman University Golf Course, boasting the strongest field the Volunteers have faced this season.
"After a two-week break since our last competition, the guys are anxious to resume racing," cross country coach George Watts said. "The Furman Invitational will be a great challenge for our team. We will compete against many of the top-ranked teams in the nation. As always, I will be looking for improvement from our last meet. This race will help give us a better idea of where we stand nationally before we begin the championship portion of the schedule."
The race takes on added significance because it is the last chance to refine the Vol pack before the Southeastern Conference Championships in Auburn Oct. 29. Additionally, the Furman Invitational will be held on the same course as the NCAA Championships Nov. 19, although the NCAA race is 10K instead of Saturday's 8K distance.
last two races have been against large fields. However, the Vols haven't
yet seen anything quite like the spectacle the Furman Invitational should provide.
Fully 103 collegiate men's teams will be divided into three separate races
-- two balanced pre-NCAA races with 37 teams each and a race for the remainder
of teams. Not only has the number of teams participating increased, but the
quality of the teams has increased, as well. While the decision as to which
team will run in which race has not been made yet, Tennessee could line up against
the likes of top 10 teams like No. 1 Colorado, No. 2 Stanford, No. 5 Notre Dame,
No. 8 Northern Arizona, No. 9 (tie) N.C. State and Villanova or SEC rivals No.
21 Alabama, Florida and Georgia.