FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona Cross Country will open its season Saturday at the 31st running of the George Kyte Classic. The Lumberjacks' only home meet, held at Buffalo Park, is slated to begin with the women's race at 1:30 p.m. MST, followed by the men at 2:15.
Thirteen teams will travel to Flagstaff for the meet, including in-state competitors Arizona and Arizona State. Other teams from Arizona scheduled to compete include Arizona Christian, Grand Canyon University, Pima Community College, and Scottsdale Community College.
"One of the great things about hosting George Kyte in Flagstaff is being able to see in-state teams that we may not see otherwise during the rest of the year," said Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Eric Heins.
Heins is looking forward to seeing his teams compete in their first competition setting this season.
"We have only been practicing at altitude for a little more than a week, so we're looking to see where each team is at in terms of levels of competition," said Heins. "Being at 7,000 feet is different for each runner, so we're just trying to figure out how that affects our teams."
Last year's meet resulted in a team title for the Lumberjack men and a third place finish for the women. The men's team placed three finishers in the top five and completed their team score of 31 with top-15 finishes from Daniel Filipcik (ninth) and Bahlbi Gebreyohanns (12th). New Lumberjack graduate assistant coach Jason Pedersen led the team last year with a second place overall finish.