CHARLOTTE, NC- The Charlotte 49ers men's and women's cross country teams look to hit the ground running in the 2012 season and leave their mark in their final year in the Atlantic 10.  Both the coaches and student-athletes have high expectations for success, with both teams hoping to compete on a high level with their final shot at a coveted Atlantic 10 Championship.  The 49er men's team returns 11 letter winners while the women's team returns 10 letterwinners.

 "I'm extremely pleased with our schedule for the 2012 cross country season," Charlotte cross country coach Ed Schlichter said.  "This will be one of our most competitive and diverse schedules we've ever had at Charlotte." 

The Niners start off the campaign with the Western Carolina Invitational in Cullowhee on August 31st  before hosting the Charlotte Duals at Frank Liske Park in Concord.  Frank Liske Park hosted the 2011 Atlantic 10 Championships.  The Atlantic 10 Championships will be hosted by Temple University in Philadelphia, PA on October 27th. " Our teams are motivated to challenge for the Atlantic 10 title and we have the talent to make it happen," Schlichter said.  

Charlotte adds two new courses to the book going to the Toledo Regional Bubble Buster in Toledo, Ohio on September 21st  and the Chili Pepper Cross Country Festival in Fayetteville, Arkansas on October 13th . "The Toledo and Arkansas meets will be new for us this year, both are extremely competitive and will have several top nationally-ranked programs in attendance, this will give us the opportunity to challenge for some ranking points," stated Schlichter.

The 49ers come home after Toledo for the Charlotte Cross Country Invitational held at McAlpine Park, September 28th.  Last year over 35 universities competed with close to 1000 runners.   This meet will serve as the NCAA Regional preview as the 49ers are hosting  the NCAA Southeast Regional Cross Country Championships on November 9th , which is going to be held at McAlpine as well.  "It gives us great pride and excitement to be selected to host the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships and we're looking forward to putting on the best championships yet" stated Schlichter.

Following the NCAA Southeast Regionals in Charlotte, the NCAA National Cross Country Championships are being held in Louisville, Kentucky on November 17th .