July 24, 2014
By: Dayna Hill
FRESNO, Calif. - Head cross country coach Sean McManus announced the 2014 Fresno State schedule on Thursday, highlighted by two meets on its own training ground, the Fresno State Invitational and the Mountain West Championships at Woodward Park.
"It will be great for the team to have a larger group of fans cheering for them compared to other meets," said McManus. "That is exciting and it should help push us to be our best."
The Fresno State Invitational will be run for the second consecutive season after a successful revival after an absence of the event since 2004. This season's schedule will also mark the first time since 2004 the Bulldog cross country team will have hosted two meets during the same season, a year the 'Dogs also hosted an NCAA Regional at Woodward Park.
Most of the Mountain West Conference schools are anticipated to be at the Bulldog Invitational, held Sept. 5 to kick off the 'Dogs season, looking to gain experience on the course that will host the league championship.
The Bulldogs will be competing at the Sundodger Invitational on Sept. 20 in Seattle, Wash. next. Coach McManus wants to ensure that his team has as much exposure to elite competition as possible.
"If we aren't putting these [athletes] in situations where they can compete on a larger scale, we are doing them a disservice," said McManus.
Fresno State travels back to the Stanford Invitational on Sept. 27, where both the men's and women's teams had great performances in 2013. Junior Annemarie Schwanz ran the sixth-best 6K time in Fresno State history with her 21:42 time on that course last season.
To close the regular season, the Bulldogs are taking a group of women on Oct. 18 to the Pre-Nationals meet for the first time. McManus thinks that it is important that everyone, from the favorite to the long-shot, put themselves in the mindset that they will be competing at the NCAA Championships.
"We are trying to give the athletes bigger race experiences, because this group is more developed than groups that we have had in the past," said McManus.
On Halloween, Fresno State hosts the Mountain West Championships for the first time since joining the league. It will also mark the first conference championship Fresno State has hosted since the WAC Championships at Woodward Park in 2006.
"This is schedule is more competitive than any other schedule we have had in the past," McManus said. "I am excited to see how [the team] responds to a more intense season."
2014 Fresno State Cross Country Schedule
Sept. 5 - Fresno State Invitational (Woodward Park)
Sept. 20 - Sundodger Invitational (Seattle, Wash.)
Sept. 27 - Stanford Invitational (Stanford, Calif.)
Oct. 18 - Pre-Nationals (Terre Haute, Ind.)
Oct. 31 - Mountain West Championships (Woodward Park)
Nov. 14 - NCAA West Regionals (Stanford, Calif.)
Nov. 22 - NCAA Championships (Terre Haute, Ind.)
"Be Bold!" - The official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs is 940 AM ESPN Radio.
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