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No. 2 Northern Arizona hosts meet, BYU takes on Utah
George Kyte Classic: No. 2 Northern Arizona
Northern Arizona will open the season Saturday as it hosts the George Kyte Classic. The meet is named after the late Dr. George Kyte, professor emeritus of history at NAU. Dr. Kyte was a longtime supporter of NAU athletics.
Lumberjack cross country had a strong showing at the 2012 George Kyte Classic. Brian Shrader finished first in his debut as a Lumberjack helping the Lumberjack men to a first place team finish. The Lumberjack women finished fourth last year.
Returning from last year's competition are Arizona State, Dixie State, Grand Canyon, Pima Community College and Arizona. This year Dine College, Glendale Community College, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Mesa Community College and Western New Mexico will join the race.
Utah Open: No. 4 BYU
BYU will travel to Salt Lake City this Friday to kick off the season.
Senior All-American Tylor Thatcher is expected to lead the Cougars, along with preseason all-conference selection Jason Witt. BYU finished sixth in last year’s NCAA championships and was picked as the preseason favorite to win the WCC in 2013.
The race will be hosted by the Utah at Murray Park.
Dual Meet: T5 Arkansas
The Razorbacks return 2012 All-American Kemoy Campbell for his senior season as well as SEC freshman runner of the year Cale Wallace. Senior Solomon Haile also brings three years of cross country experience and awards including 2012 all-region and first-team All-SEC honors.
The Razorbacks are the predicted favorites in the Southeastern Conference team race and the top-ranked team in the South Central region. Arkansas is the three-time defending conference champion, having most recently won the program’s 20th SEC cross country title in 2012. The Razorbacks have won seven consecutive conference titles dating back to the 2011 outdoor track and field title.
On Friday, Arkansas opens the season with a dual meet against Missouri Southern at Agri Park.
Badger Season Open: No. 7 Wisconsin
On Friday, Wisconsin is set to host the 2013 Badger Open at the Thomas Zimmerman Championship Cross Country Course.
DePaul, Marquette, Loyola‐Chicago,Green Bay, and Edgewood will be in attendance to compete against the Badgers in the season opener.
Wisconsin returns two of its scorers from the national meet in senior Rob Finnerty, who has been granted a sixth year of eligibility, and junior Alex Hatz.
Portland State Classic: No. 8 Portland
The Portland squad will get its season underway with the PSU Viking Classic Friday at Blue Lake Park in Fairview, Ore.
Including the Pilots, there will be three Division I teams in the men's race. No.12 Oregon will be in the race.
The Blue Lake Park course has been the previous host site of several championship events. The 2008 Big Sky Championships were held at Blue Lake Park, and the Pilots hosted the 2003 NCAA west regional there.
Harry Lang Invitational: No. 9 Syracuse
The Orange will run in their opening meet Saturday at the Harry Lang Invitational in Hamilton, N.Y.
The Orange will enter the 2013 season with both reliable veterans and young talent looking to make their mark in SU’s first season in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The men’s team returns all of its record six All-Big East selections from last season, including redshirt senior Griff Graves, who was a key contributor in winning the 2012 conference title, finishing 13th overall.