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Stan Becton | | August 21, 2023

13 notable college cross country invitationals in 2023

2022 DI women's NCAA cross country championship | FULL RACE

The 2023 cross country season is upon us. Here’s a look at 13 invitationals and races you won’t want to miss during the fall.

Week 1

  • Cowboy Preview | Sept. 1 | Host: Oklahoma State
  • George Kyte Classic | Sept. 2 | Host: Northern Arizona

The 2023 cross country season kicks off on the first weekend of September. Any race at Oklahoma State’s Greiner Family Oklahoma State Cross Country Course is one to watch, so keep an eye out for the Cowboy Preview.

The dynastic Northern Arizona cross country program also begins the season with an invitational of its own, the George Kyte Classic, on September 2. The Lumberjacks have won six of the last seven cross country titles.

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Week 3

  • Adidas XC Challenge | Sept. 15 | Host NC State
  • Florida Invite | Sept. 15 | Host: Florida
  • John McNichols Invitational | Sept. 16 | Host: Indiana State

NC State and Florida are two teams that will have eyes set on the women's cross country team and individual titles in 2023. Both will host invitationals during the third week of the season.

Mark your calendars for Indiana State’s John McNicholas Invitational, too, a race on the beautiful LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course.

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Week 4

  • Roy Griak Invitational | Sept. 22 | Host: Minnesota
  • Cowboy Jamboree | Sept. 23 | Host: Oklahoma State
  • Virginia Invitational | Sept. 23 | Host: Virginia

Oklahoma State’s Cowboy Jamboree first ran in 1937, while Minnesota’s Roy Griak Invitational will enter its 35th year in 2023. Two historic races occurring on the same weekend would typically have every cross country team in action, but with the Virginia Invitational allowing athletes a shot at running on the NCAA championship course during the same weekend, it’ll be hard to find a cross country team taking the week off.

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Week 5

  • Joe Piane Invitational | Sept. 29 | Host: Notre Dame
  • Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival | Sept. 29 | Host: Arkansas
  • Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown | Sept. 29 | Host: Boston College

The Joe Piane Invitational will likely draw the most eyes during the fifth weekend of the cross country season, with a likely ranked Notre Dame team competing against other ranked foes. However, keep an eye out for Arkansas’ Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival , which has existed since 1988, and the Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown, featuring some of the best teams from the northeast.

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Week 7

  • Nuttycombe Invitational | Oct. 13 | Host: Wisconsin
  • NCAA Pre Nationals | Oct. 14 | Host: Virginia

The premier invitational in collegiate cross country (outside of the championship window) is the Nuttycombe Invitational. Wisconsin has hosted “the Nutty” at Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course since 2009, often featuring the best teams and athletes year after year. Nine of the last 15 team cross country champions across genders have won the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational during the same year. The 2022 women’s champion, NC State, is the most recent program to achieve the feat.

Elsewhere, athletes and teams will get one last shot to run at Virginia’s Panorama Farms course on October 14, one month before the national championships.

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Championship race dates

Below you’ll find the dates for all of the championship cross country races that close the season.

  • Conference championship weekend | Oct. 27 
  • Regional Championships | Nov. 10
  • National Championships | Nov. 18

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The USTFCCCA’s Cross Country National Athlete of the Year award is given to the most outstanding male and female NCAA cross country athletes. Here's what to know about cross country's highest honor.

The fastest finishes in NCAA DI cross country championships history

With the help of our record books, 25 men's and women's cross country times have been documented as the fastest finishes in NCAA DI Cross Country Championships history. We've pinpointed the dates and locations that radically changed the record books for both men's and women's cross country.

Here are the DI cross country teams with most NCAA championships

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