by Benny Benton
WILSON, N.C. – The Barton College cross country teams will use four regular-season meets in 2018 to prepare for Conference Carolinas and NCAA Division II Southeast Regional championships.
The Bulldogs will open the year on Friday, Aug. 31, in the Mount Olive Twilight. The event will give participants an early look at the University of Mount Olive course on which the league meet will be held in November.
The two squads will take nearly a month-long pause from competition before returning to the course on Friday, Sept. 28, in the Queens City Invite, hosted by Queens University.
Barton will take part in two more meets eight days apart – first the Pirate Invitational hosted by East Carolina University on Friday, Oct. 12, then the Sand Shark Invitational hosted by USC Beaufort on Saturday, Oct. 20 – in final preparation for the conference showdown on Saturday, Nov. 3.
The Bulldogs are also slated to participate in the Southeast Regional, which will be hosted this year by the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, Ga.
"It should be a very competitive schedule this season, and offer plenty of opportunities for us to grow as a team and have good performances," said assistant coach Tyler Amerson, who is currently directing the programs following the recent departure of head coach David Nicholson. "We have some new meets on the schedule this year which will provide good experiences for our teams. The conference championship is at a new location for the first time in many years as well, as UMO will host. A few of the courses will offer a really good opportunity to set some personal bests and prepare us to run our best times at the end of the season."
Barton graduated all-conference runners from a year ago on both the men's and women's teams, leaving opportunities for returnees and newcomers to claim leadership roles in the program.
"We will have a young team this year, so it will be exciting to watch them grow and progress throughout the season," Amerson said.
NOTE: The 2018 Barton College cross country schedule is subject to change. Fans are encouraged to check the men's and women's schedule pages on www.BartonBulldogs.com throughout the season to confirm dates, times and locations.