“We have a great schedule that progresses toward and prepares us for our championships,” said Huskie head coach Greg Hipp. “While our schedule is very regional early on, we are excited about our post-season opportunities at the MAC meet in Buffalo and the regional meet at Missouri State.”
The season kicks off on Labor Day weekend when the team heads to Palos Heights, Ill. on Saturday, Sept. 1 for the UIC Opener, hosted by Illinois-Chicago. The meet gets under way at 10 a.m. on the two-mile Horse Trail Lake course.
NIU returns to DeKalb for the first of two home meets Friday, Sept. 7 when they host the fourth annual NIU Open on the North 40 course. For the first time in its current form, the meet will take place on a Friday night, with the first race beginning at 5:45 p.m. Among the teams scheduled to compete are Northwestern, Marquette, DePaul, UIC and Chicago State.
Three weeks later, the team treks to the Windy City for the 40th running of the Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational on Sept. 29 at Montrose Beach. Following their trip to Chicago, the Huskies will take part in the Bradley Classic in Peoria, Ill. on Friday, October 12.
The schedule hits the home stretch on Saturday, Oct. 27, as NIU heads to Buffalo, N.Y. for the 2012 Mid-American Conference Championships, as the team will be looking to build off last season’s 11th place finish at the conference event. The meet gets underway at 11 a.m. ET.
Just six days after the MAC meet, the Huskies will host their second home meet of the year with the Huskie Open on Friday, Nov. 2. The second meet will serve as an extra meet for runners not competing in the postseason.
The team wraps up their season in November with the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship in Springfield, Mo. on Friday, Nov. 9, followed by the NCAA National Championship Saturday, Nov. 17, in Louisville, Ky.
“With our schedule being similar to this past fall we will be able to clearly see how much our program has improved over the past year,” Hipp said. “I’m looking forward to seeing those improvements as we begin to make up way up the MAC and NCAA ranks.”
For more information on NIU cross country and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.