Athens, GA - Members of the Georgia women’s cross country team will get back to work on Saturday as they travel to Greenville, S.C., for the 38th-annual Gene Mullin Furman Cross Country Invitational.
The Lady Bulldogs are scheduled to square off against a collection of schools in the region in a 5k race at 9 a.m. The men’s 8k will be at 8:30 a.m., but the Georgia men will be taking the weekend off from competition.
“The group traveling this weekend has worked hard to get fit so we are trying to get them another meet since not everyone is guaranteed a chance at Pre-Nationals, where we travel seven, and at (Southeastern Conference Championships), where we travel 10,” said Bulldog coach Jeff Pigg. “We are running with a larger squad on the women’s side this fall so we are trying to get this group as many opportunities to develop as possible. Just like Bridget Lyons and Dustin Tetley in the past, you never know where your next superstar is going to come from.”
This is Georgia’s final meet before the NCAA Pre-Nationals arrive in Terre Haute, Ind., on Oct. 16.
The Georgia women enter the weekend ranked fourth in the latest USTFCCCA South Region poll after finishing third at the Greater Louisville Classic on Oct. 2.
Eighteen Lady Bulldogs are expected to make the trip to Greenville. Freshmen Katherine Bickley, Emily McNutt, Stella Christoforou, Sarah Hope, Greer Gafford, Savannah Kirk, Kathleen LaPorte, Shelby Robison, Ali Waterson and Kiara McCue-Woods are set to join sophomores Nicole DiMercurio, Emily Fountain and Katherine Lacksen, juniors Lindsey Ebert, Nicole Melilli and Abbie Robison and seniors Summer Nelson and Kylie Foley.
“This is a good meet with a pretty strong field but one that’s not as intense as Pre-Nationals,” Pigg said, adding that he is eager to see what some of his new runners like Kirk, McCue-Woods, Christoforou and McNutt can do.
This will be Foley’s first meet of the 2010 season after she earned All-Region honors in 2009 with a 24th-place finish at the NCAA South Regionals.
“This will be the first meet of the year for Kylie, who is one of our captains, and we are really looking forward to having her back,” said Pigg.
Six of Georgia’s top finishers over the firs three meets of this season will not be making the trip as they continue preparations for next Saturday’s NCAA Pre-Nationals.
Senior Taylor Adams, juniors Kristie Krueger and Morgan VanGorder, sophomores Ashley Shiver and Leslie Boozer and freshman Sydney Marshall will remain in Athens after they have recorded all but three of the top-five finishes through three races in 2010.
“These six girls and our men’s teams have been hitting it pretty hard in workouts this week and should be ready to roll when the next weekend arrives,” Pigg said.
Full results and a recap from the Furman Cross Country Invitational will be found at georgiadogs.com.