CHARLOTTE, N.C. - After almost a
two-week stretch of no competition, the Charlotte cross country team is preparing
for its biggest meet of the season thus far as it heads to the Toledo
Inter-Regional Bubble Buster on Friday, Sept. 21 at Ottawa Park Golf Course.
The meet is only in its second
year of existence as host University of Toledo
has strived to make it one of the nation's largest meets. In its inaugural debut
last year, the Bubble Buster attracted top-ranked teams from several Division I
conference across the country. The meet was only open to female teams but due
to its quick popularity of garnering top teams, the meet will include a men's
race on Friday.
The event will kick off with the men's
race (4-mile) at 5:10 p.m. and the women (2K) are tabbed for a 6:10 p.m. start.
Teams participating in the meet include Toledo, Butler, Ohio, Eastern Michigan, Columbia, Syracuse, San Francisco, BYU, Portland, West Virginia, Lipscomb, Navy, and Iowa.
BYU is ranked No. 3 in the Men's Cross Country National Coaches' Poll. Other nationally-ranked teams include No. 5 Portland, No. 13 Syracuse, and No. 29 Columbia.
Toledo enters the meet with the highest national ranking of any of its opponents, sitting at No. 18 in the Women's Cross Country National Coaches' Poll. Syracuse is No. 22, followed by No. 23 San Francisco and No. 25 West Virginia.
The Niners have seen consistent
efforts from its veterans and newcomers in their first two meets of the season.
Sophomore Zach Greth has led the 49ers in both meets, turning in top ten performances.
Freshman Getisso Dentamo captured a 3rd
place finish at the Charlotte Duals two weeks ago. In his first appearance of
the season, Dentamo was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week, finishing the
5K with a time of 16:08. Chris Anderson, Eleazar Garcia, and Ben Sterett have
also been steady runners for Charlotte.
Senior Hana Sutchar and Morgan
Richards have been a dynamic duo for the Niners. The pair seized the top two
spots at the Charlotte Duals, finishing just two seconds apart. Lauren Pollard
has also been at the forefront for Charlotte during her freshman campaign.
"The returners are definitely looking
sharp," said head coach Ed Schlichter. "Our newcomers have been standouts. It's
been great watching them work out and lead some of the races. I'm really
impressed by their work ethic and the training that they did over the summer to
prepare for the season."
Charlotte will be competing
against several teams who are in the top of their respective region. On the
women's side, Toledo is ranked third in the Great Lakes region. Syracuse is
also third, representing the Northeast region alongside Columbia who is No. 8.
San Francisco is fifth in the West region.
For the men, Northeast region
foes Syracuse and Columbia are second and third respectively. Representing the
West Region is San Francisco tabbed at 15th.
The 49ers have continued to work
hard since their last meet as they know that hard work and dedication will help
them reach their goals.
"Our training has been going
well," Schlichter said. "The team feels great after work outs and it's cool to
see that. I like seeing the kids getting motivated to finish the workout and
being upbeat to finish the last interval."
Charlotte returns home on Friday,
Sept. 28 for the annual Charlotte Invitational at McAlpine Park, beginning at 3