CHICAGO—Illinois Tech cross country embarks a new era in 2019, as Tyler McQuality enters his first season as head coach of the men’s and women’s programs. McQuality is excited to announce the 2019 schedule, which features seven scheduled meets in addition to the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) Championships and NCAA Division III Regionals.
“We are looking forward to the 2019 season and are ready to get started,” said McQuality. “While our schedule is for the most part the same, we made a few exciting tweaks that will enhance the student-athlete experience.”
As the Scarlet Hawks have for the last 12 seasons, Tech will open up the slate at the Elmhurst College Earlybird Invite at Eldridge Park. The annual twilight meet will take place on Friday, August 30.
September will be a busy month for the Scarlet Hawks, as three meets pack the schedule. The month opens on Friday, September 6 with the Huskie Challenge at Northern Illinois University. This marks the second straight season Tech will race at a meet hosted by a Division I school, as the teams competed in Loyola-Chicago’s Lakefront Invite last season.
“We added the meet at NIU in order to gain more experience,” said McQuality. “It will be interesting to see how we look early in the season on a challenging course.”
Following the trip to NIU, Tech will make its annual trip to Oakhurst Forest Preserve for the Spartan Classic hosted by Aurora University on September 13. This season will mark the fourth straight year the Scarlet Hawks have raced at the NACC foe’s home course.
After Aurora, the Scarlet Hawks will compete in its first Saturday meet: Wheaton’s Gil Dodds Invitational on September 21. The Gil Dodds Invite is the first of three meets for the Scarlet Hawks at St. James Farm Forest Preserve in Warrenville, as Tech will also race there on October 11 (Benedictine Eagle Invitational) and November 6 (North Central College Red/White Invite).
The Benedictine meet will be Tech’s next after the Gil Dodds invite. Succeeding the BenU meet is the UW-Oshkosh Kollege Town Invite on October 19. Likely the largest meet the Scarlet Hawks will run at in 2019, the annual race at Lake Breeze Golf Course in Winneconne, Wisconsin is a great test prior to the conference meet.
On Saturday, November 2, the NACC Championships race will take place at Greenfield Park in West Allis, Wisconsin. After the conference meet, Tech will compete one more time at the aforementioned North Central Red/White Invite prior to the NCAA Regionals. The mid-week meet will be used as a tune-up for the season’s final test. Then, the NCAA Division III Regionals will take place on November 16 back at Lake Breeze Golf Course prior to the National Championships on November 23 in Louisville, Kentucky.
McQuality feels this season’s schedule will help the Hawks prepare for the biggest races of the year.
“Overall, I think our schedule is set up to ensure we run our best at the end of the season,” said McQuality. “Our young team continue to learn and grow while racing in a very competitive region.”