CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte 49ers, in conjunction with McAlpine Creek Park, will play host for the 2012 NCAA Southeast Cross Country Championships, the NCAA announced Wednesday. McAlpine Creek Park, which has hosted the Charlotte Cross Country Invitational the past three years, has quickly grown to be a premier cross country invitational in the Southeast. 

The 2012 Charlotte Cross Country Invitational, which drew nearly 40 universities as participants, will be used as a course preview for the Southeast Championships. The Charlotte Invite will be held Friday, September 28th, 2012, while the NCAA Southeast Regional is slated for Friday, November 9th, 2012.

Apart from the Charlotte Invitational, McAlpine has played a role as a major venue for other cross country meets for over 20 years. Charlotte hosted the Conference USA Cross Country Championship there back in 2000. In addition, several NCAA Division II Regional and conference meets, as well as prestigious high school events like the Footlocker South Championships and Wendy's Invitational, have been yearly attractions at McAlpine.   

"I'm extremely excited and honored that the NCAA and USTFCCCA have chosen Charlotte to host the 2012 NCAA Southeast Cross Country Regional Championship," said 49ers cross country coach Ed Schlichter. "The Southeast Regional determines a portion of the NCAA Cross Country Championship field for the Southeast Region, which includes all NCAA Division I universities from North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky.

"This is a great complement to the success we have shown in hosting first class, competitive meets in the past," Schlichter continued. "The meet will also give us an advantage towards our ultimate goal of qualifying more individuals and a team for the NCAA Championships."

The 49ers cross country program has been consistently ranked in the Southeast region, and will continue to gain prominence through hosting such a prestigious event.