Off and running

MARQUETTE – The Northern Michigan University women’s cross country team begins its fall season with two of its most important meets at the start of its schedule.

The Wildcats open at Michigan Tech at 3 p.m. on Aug. 29 then travel downstate for the Spartan Invitational in East Lansing at Michigan State University at noon on Sept. 12.

“I’m really excited about this year’s schedule,” said eighth-year head coach Jenny Ryan, who has been with the NMU athletic department for 15 years.

“The schedule is set up perfect with some great competition and time in-between for good training and preparation.

“Early in the season we are going to the Spartan Invite, which we have never been to. It is a fast course and the largest cross country meet in Michigan with most of the GLIAC teams attending.

“We will also be competing at the Roy Griak Invite, which is the largest cross country meet in the country with many of the top teams.”

The Griak is on Sept. 27 and is hosted by the University of Minnesota in Falcon Heights near Minneapolis.

“These two meets (the Spartan and Roy Griak) especially will be great preparation for our GLIAC Championship and Midwest Regional meets,” Ryan said.

The Wildcats host the Upper Peninsula Championships at 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 24, at the NMU Golf Course, about two weeks after traveling to the Lucian Rosa Invitational hosted by Wisconsin-Parkside in Somers, Wisconsin.

“Our home meet as always will also be very exciting on a great spectator (friendly) course,” Ryan said.

November begins the postseason with the GLIAC Championships at Tiffin, Ohio, on Nov. 8, the Midwest Regional in Evansville, Indiana, on Nov. 22, and the NCAA Division II Championships at Louisville, Kentucky, on Dec. 6.