AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn cross country team returns to action Friday as it travels to Tallahassee, Fla. to compete in the FSU XC Open. The meet will be held at Apalachee Regional Park with the men’s 8k Garnet Race beginning at 6:40 a.m. CT and the women’s 6k Garnet Race beginning at 7:10 a.m. CT. The venue will be the site of this year’s NCAA Championships later in the fall.
“The team has done a great job bouncing back from the last meet and working on some things we saw that could be weaknesses,” said Tigers head coach Aaron Kindt. “This week, the jump from a 5k to 8k can be not only a physical challenge but also a mental challenge, especially for the younger kids. Our team’s patience and focus will certainly be tested in this meet.”
A total of 13 Tigers, eight men and five women, are set to go head-to-head with student-athletes from 29 other universities at the meet.
Coming off a hot start, with a victory at the Foothills Invitational, the Auburn men look to keep their positive momentum rolling into Tallahassee. Lacing up will be seniors Tommy McDonough and Jackson Thomas, junior Evan Rogers, sophomores Carson Bedics and Ryan Kinnane and freshmen Benson Atkins, Mark Foster and Cooper Atkins, the reigning SEC Men’s Freshman Runner of the Week.
For the Auburn women, senior Louisa McPherson, sophomore Samantha Rogers and freshmen Hallie Porterfield and Hannah Thuss return to competition after taking home second place in the Foothills Invitational. The group will be joined by Outdoor All-American Presley Weems as she makes her season debut.
Alongside Auburn, the other schools competing for top honors will be UAH, BYU (women), Central Georgia Tech, Charleston Southern (men), Clemson, Eastern Michigan, Flagler, Florida A&M (women), Florida Atlantic, Florida Gulf Coast, FIU, Florida Southern, Florida State, Florida Tech, Furman, Lee, Miami, North Florida, Nova Southeastern (women), Northwestern, Palm Beach Atlantic, Pasco-Hernando State (women), USF, Southern Utah, Stanford, Stetson (women), Tampa, Valdosta State and West Florida (women).
Auburn makes the trek to South Bend, Ind. to compete in the Notre Dame Invite on Oct. 1.