ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – St. Bonaventure University cross country/track head coach Bob MacFarlane has announced the schedule for the Bonnies inaugural men's and women's outdoor track season this spring.
The schedule runs from April through May and includes five events beginning with the Bonnies first competition on April 1, 2017 at the Geneseo Early Season Invite.
"We are excited about the addition of the men's and women's track programs with cross country already being a conference championship sport," MacFarlane said. "The addition of track will allow both programs to have championship season opportunities in the spring as part of the Atlantic 10 Conference."
The Bonnies will compete at the Roc City Invite at Nazareth College outside Rochester on April 8, then travel to the Cortland Invitational on April 21. The month of April will conclude with a trip to the University at Buffalo Invitational on April 29 before the Bonnies take part in Atlantic 10 Championships May 6-7 held at the University of Massachusetts.
"Our goal this year is to get everyone in an event that fits their strength and also an event that will enhance their fitness and skills to improve in cross country," MacFarlane said. "Our major running events will be from the 400 up to the 10,000 meters along with relays. Also we will have a few athletes that will compete in steeple chase and 400 hurdles."
MacFarlane says the opportunity for Bonnies athletes to compete year-round will result in benefits for the cross country and track teams.
Under MacFarlane's leadership, the Bonnies cross country programs have shown impressive growth. Eight of the Bonnies' top 10 all-time women's individual 5K times have been turned in since MacFarlane took over the program while eight of the men's top 10 individual 8K times have also come under his watch. In the classroom, the men's cross country team was honored by the NCAA in Spring 2016 after ranking in the top 10 percent of the nation in Academic Progress Rate (APR) and the women's team posted a cumulative team GPA of 3.543 a year ago. The teams have also grown from nine total runners when MacFarlane inherited the program in 2010 to a total of 38 student-athletes entering 2016.
"You have to run year-round at this level and if you don't you may have some success in cross country, but your chances improve greatly when you're able to compete year-round," he said. "Adding track will enhance our running programs at Bonaventure. We have done well with building the cross country program and we think by adding track both programs will reap the benefits; this is a huge step and it will be exciting to see how much the programs grow over the next couple of years."
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