Aug 29, 2013
PITTSBURGH -- Pitt cross country will open its 2013 season Saturday with the Duquesne Duals at Schenley Park in Pittsburgh. Races begin at 9 a.m. with the men competing first, followed by the women at 9:45 in what will officially kick off the Panthers' inaugural campaign in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Pitt's 2013 schedule will feature a handful of larger meets in addition to the relatively small field at the local contest. Following the Duquesne Duals, the Panthers will head to meets such as the Spiked Shoe Invitational (Sept. 13), Notre Dame Invitational (Oct. 4) and Pre-Nationals (Oct. 19).
The fall slate also includes stops at the St. Vincent Invite (Sept. 21), Saint Francis (Pa.) Father Bede Invite (Sept. 28) and CMU Invite (Oct. 12). Each meet will be in preparation for Pitt's first appearance at the ACC Championships on Nov. 1 in Winston Salem, N.C.
The Panthers will have some of its top runners from a year ago returning for this historic season. On the men's side, Rich Addison will be back for his junior campaign. Among the team's top three finishers in each of his meets last fall, Addison is the leading returner from last year's Big East Championships.
Morgan Perry and Cayla Del Piano were among the Panthers' lead runners on the women's side. Perry was the team's top finisher in 2012's Mid-Atlantic Championships, while Del Piano was second among returners at that meet. Both were also among the Panthers' top three finishers at the Big East Championships a year ago.
The leading trend for that trio began early in the year as Pitt also opened the 2012 season at the Duquesne Duals. That meet also saw some other faces at the front of the pack, however. Ben Kisley was ninth overall, helping the Pitt men to a 4-1 record against Duquesne, Carnegie Mellon, St. Vincent College, Youngstown State and Robert Morris. The Panthers' only loss came to the Dukes.
Del Piano found herself in the middle of a pack of front-running teammates a year ago where as a freshman she placed eighth overall just ahead of Rachael Brown in ninth with an identical time. Like the men's squad, the women also suffered their only team loss to the Dukes but earned wins over Youngstown State, Carnegie Mellon and Robert Morris.
After this year's edition of the Duquesne Duals, Pitt will turn its attention to the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational hosted by Penn State. Collegiate races on Sept. 13 begin at 5:30 p.m.