By Kylie Jordan, Social media manager.
The University of Montevallo’s Cross Country team has a stacked upcoming season. They will be hosting the Falcon Classic and NCAA DII South Regional Championship at home.
UM’s Cross Country team will host the Falcon Classic here in Montevallo on Sept.15 and the NCAA DII South Regional Championship on Nov. 4.
Junior UM cross country runner Abby Snyder said racing at home is more familiar, as Montevallo’s cross country course is the one that cross country often practices with.
“You know when to push,” Snyder said.
Sarah Turner, a sophomore cross country runner at UM said, “Our coach says ‘You should know these hills like the back of your hand.’”
The experience is unlike any other race. “It’s also different waking up in your own bed on a race day and then eating your own meals and stuff,” Turner said.
Turner said hosting the Falcon Classic makes the race more exciting because of a bigger turnout from fans.
“We know more people show up like other people come and support us at the home meet,” Turner said.
Turner and Snyder say that hosting the Falcon Classic is also a great way to prepare for the NCAA DII South Regional Championship.
“For the Falcon Classic a lot of schools from our conference like to come. Especially since we’re hosting regionals so then they can feel the course out before they come for the bigger meet,” Snyder said.
Race participation for the Falcon Classic is high. More teams run this race to get experience for the NCAA DII South Regional Championship, as this is the same course that will be used for the NCAA DII South Regional Championship.
“It’s a big deal to host regionals because so many people in our region are going to be there– a lot of big names and really talented runners. It’s cool that we’re hosting it. It’s a big deal,” said Turner.
Last year, the UM Women’s Cross Country team placed second at the 2022 Falcon Classic, a 5k race. Their total time was 1:39:57 with an average time of completion of 19:59. They had a score of 52. They were beaten out by the University of Alabama-Huntsville.
At the 2022 Falcon Classic, UM’s Men’s Cross Country team placed second, also losing to UAH. Their total time for an 8k race was 2:10:05 with an average time of 26:01. Their score was 64.
Montevallo’s cross country course was completed in 2011 and has since hosted the Falcon Classic annually. Not only is this course home to collegiate racing, but it also holds races for top high schools in the state.
The course is all-grass with approximately 400 meters of gravel on a path between eight feet and 10 feet wide throughout the trail.