Seahawk Harriers Eye CAA Championships
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
This weekend is the first and only race of the season in which the Seahawks race against all of their conference opponents. The men begin an 8k race at 10 a.m., while the women will cover a 6k layout at 11 a.m.
"Our sport isn't like any other sport, where you do it one game at a time and you have the opportunity to make up for a bad game," said Layne Schwier, assistant cross country/track and field coach. "In our sport, you only race conference one time, so no matter how good of a year you're having, if you have a bad day this weekend, it defines your season."
The race will be held on the rolling Nash Farm Battlefield near Atlanta, a course the Seahawks tackled last month at the Georgia State Invitational.
Schwier recognized the importance of being familiar with the course when he scheduled the meet before the season began.
"This is not an easy course, so just mentally being able to prepare for it, after having seen it should give us an advantage. It's like any sport, having home court is helpful. Even though this is not our home court, our experience there could make a difference for our runners."
After making her season debut two weeks ago at the Blue Ridge Mountain Open, senior Lindsay Ester is expected to compete at full strength this week. Pairing Ester with Erin Brennan, who finished seventh and led the women to a third place finish on the course last month, should create a formidable tandem for the Seahawks. "Erin has been very consistent all year and Lindsay is getting stronger week to week, so we could have two runners up near the top," said Schwier.
UNCW hosted the CAA Championships last year, with the men and women's teams each finishing sixth overall.
Following this weekend's race, the Seahawks wrap up the season by competing in the NCAA Southeast Regionals on Nov. 12 in Louisville, Ky.