DURHAM, N.C. - Duke University men's cross country head coach Norm Ogilvie has announced the program's 2012 schedule, which includes a home meet against NC Central on Sept. 15, the same day the Duke football team will host the Eagles in the second Bull City Gridiron Classic.
The men's cross country squad will officially open the season on August 31 at the Virginia Tech Opener in Blacksburg, Va., the site of the 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, before returning to Durham to host NC Central. The Blue Devils will then face an early challenge at the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational on Sept. 22 in Charlottesville, Va. Rising senior Domenick DeMatteo, one of the program's top returners this fall, led the team to a second-place showing at the same meet in 2011.
The following week of action will see Duke return to the Great American Cross Country Festival in Cary, N.C., where the team posted a first-place finish last season. The Blue Devils will then get a chance to compete on the same course that will serve as the site of the 2012 NCAA Championships when they travel to the NCAA Pre-Nationals meet at the E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky., on Oct. 13.
The team will head back to Blacksburg on Oct. 27 for the 2012 ACC Championships, followed by a short trip to Cary, N.C., on Nov. 3 to face the reigning ACC champion in NC State. Six days later, the NCAA Southeast Regional will be held at a new site in Charlotte, N.C.
The 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships are slated for Nov. 17 in Louisville, the earliest national meet in Division I history. The national championship will also be held in Louisville for the first time.
"This year's schedule allows us to face nationally-ranked teams on multiple occasions," Ogilvie said. "We think the 2012 schedule will put us in a great position to return to the NCAA Championships in November."
Duke returns a nucleus of veteran runners for 2012, and the program will also be bolstered by a strong incoming class. The 2011 campaign saw the Blue Devils tie for fourth at the ACC Championships and take sixth at the NCAA Southeast Regional while tallying a season record of 64-20-1, including a mark of 11-10-1 against ACC opponents.