Oct. 3, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- The UAB cross country team heads to South Bend, Ind. Friday to take part in the Notre Dame Invitational, generally regarded as one of the top collegiate meets in the country.
The Blazers will join a highly-competitive field that includes eight teams currently listed in the USTFCCA national rankings, led by two (No. 2 Florida State and No. 4 Duke) in the top five.
UAB is one of 25 teams that will run in the Blue Division race that includes seven of those ranked squads. The Blue race is scheduled to start at 4:15 p.m. ET on the University of Notre Dame's Burke Golf Course.
The Blazers have dominated their only two meets they've run this fall at the Trojan Invitational (Aug. 31) and the Azalea City Classic (Sept. 14). UAB cross country coach Tony Houchin knows his team will face by far its biggest test of the season to date when they go against the talented field at Notre Dame.
"Every year the Notre Dame Invitational is one of the NCAA's best meets of the entire season," Houchin said. "The competition is always top notch and (the meet) should give us a good indication of how we'll fare when we get to the later stages of the season.
"Training has been going well thus far and we've run well in our early season meets. I expect us to have a great performance on Friday."
Scheduled to run for the Blazers at Notre Dame Friday are Kirsty Addy, Kate Brown, Rachel Harley, Elinor Kirk, Sarah Livett, Lindsay Miller and Lauren Scott. Kirk was the individual winner at both the Troy meet and the race Azalea City meet in Mobile, Ala.
In the Trojan Invitational, UAB was first of seven teams as the Blazers placed five runners in the top, including a 1-2 finish by Kirk and Addy. At the Azalea City Classic, UAB was the top team of 10 competing with five runners in the top seven, and seven in the top 15. Kirk (1st), Addy (3rd), Brown (4th) and Livett (5th) all were among the first five finishers.
In addition to the meet at Notre Dame, the Blazers will also send four runners (Laurie Pray, Hannah Coffin, Kara Woods and Jenna Wesley) to the Birmingham-Southern Invitational, to be run Friday at Veteran's Park in Hoover, Ala.
"We have four athletes running at the Birmingham-Southern Invitational at Veteran's park in Hoover," Houchin said. "Whereas that's a more developmental group of athletes, the BSC meet is a big part of their development and will help those athletes possibly earn a spot on the C-USA team come November."