The Stetson men’s and women’s cross country teams will return to action this weekend when they travel to race in the UF Mountain Dew Invitational.
The prestigious event, which will be held on Saturday morning, will have more than 20 college and university teams, as well as track clubs, competing.
“The University of Florida always has a solid race,” head coach Joe Matuszczak said. “There will be 23-25 teams, including the top teams from Florida. This will be perfect for our teams because there will be a lot of competition in the race. This is my favorite course among those we run every season.”
Of the teams scheduled to compete in the race, three are fellow Atlantic Sun Conference members: Florida Gulf Coast, North Florida and Northern Kentucky.
“It allows us to see where they are early in the season,” Matuszczak said. “We are focused on our team, but competing against them will let us see how they are doing and it could lead to success down the road.”
Stetson opened their season on August 31 at the FGCU Invitational. The men and women both finished sixth place in that race. Brian Dughi ran a personal best, 30:05.6, to lead the Hatter men. Freshmen Trixi Menge finished with a time of 20:43.4 in her first collegiate race to lead the Hatters.
“I am excited for all them,” Matuszczak said. “This is the first race where we going to take into account more team tactics instead of just running individual races.
“Because of all the teamwork and bonding, the teams have been training hard, and we could see a couple PRs on the men’s side,” Matuszczak said. “As for the girls, this will be the first race where we have the top eight runners, so we can get a better a feel for they how will do this season.”
The men’s race is set to begin at 7:55 a.m., and the women will start at 8:30 a.m.