The GW men’s and women’s cross country teams will host the second annual GW Invitational Saturday morning at Bull Run Park in Centreville, Va.
The invitational will begin at 9:15 a.m. with an alumni race. The women will start their 5,000-meter race at 10:15 a.m., and the men will begin their five-mile race at 11 a.m.
A solid group of schools will compete at this year’s invitational, including Virginia Tech, Georgetown, Hofstra, Monmouth and Seton Hall universities, and Wagner College. George Mason University will compete only on the men’s side.
The Georgetown women are nationally ranked, GW head coach Jim Hopkins said. Virginia Tech’s men won the event last year, while the Tech women were third in the Atlantic 10 last year.
“We’re not really ready to race against teams like Georgetown and Virginia Tech yet,” Hopkins said. “But we should be able to run with the other teams. Third place is our goal on both sides I think.” Hopkins said he has his eye on Monmouth as a team that he hopes his runners can stay with and beat at the invitational.
The men’s race has about 150 entries, and 120 runners have entered the women’s race. Hopkins said nine or 10 women and 12 men will be running for GW.
Both teams are coming off a mediocre performance at the La Salle Invitational Sept. 12. In preparation for the invitational, Hopkins had the teams go on long runs Saturday and Sunday but said he will allow the teams to rest after Tuesday’s practice.
“The girls were looking good (Tuesday), but the guys were looking kind of tired,” Hopkins said. “We’ll just have to see how they respond on Saturday (at the invitational).”
The top five runners for each team will count in the scoring for the invitational, and the teams with the best collective scores will be the winners of the men’s and women’s races.