CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. – Coming off consecutive wins to start the season on the men’s side and historic national honors from the team-leader on the women’s side, cross country is prepared to move forward and take on national competition at the Virginia Invitational Saturday, Sept. 22.
The Virginia Invitational will see many of the best teams across the country line up in the starting boxes for what will be a good test for both teams. The men’s team is coming off consecutive race wins to start the season for the first time since 2019 after having won handily at the Jeff Drenth Memorial on Sept. 1 and the Spartan Invitational home meet on Sept. 15. The women, led by senior Katie Osika’s race win, captured their first win of the 2023 campaign at the Spartan Invitational last time out.
During the week, Osika’s result earned her both Big Ten Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week and U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association National Athlete of the Week honors. Osika is the first cross country athlete on either team to claim the USTFCCCA award since Rachele Schulist also won both in the week of Sept. 9, 2014.
The Virginia Invitational is the first of three consecutive meets with national competition that the Spartans will battle in with the Joe Piane (Notre Dame) Invitational taking place next Friday, Sept. 29 in South Bend, Indiana, followed by the Nuttycombe (Wisconsin) Invitational on Friday, Oct. 13 in Madison, Wisconsin.