Valparaiso University's men's and women's cross country teams will compete over six weekends, including the season-opening Crusader Invitational, as the 2004 schedule was released on Thursday.
Head coach Mike Straubel's squad will host their annual invitational to kick-off the year on September 10 at Sunset Hills Farm. A week later, Valpo will travel to the Indiana Intercollegiate Championships in West Lafayette, Ind.
After a week off, the Crusaders will split their squad, with some runners competing at the Notre Dame Invitational on October 1 while the others will run at the Loyola Lakefront Invitational the next day. The squads will again split on October 16, as the top runners will head to the Pre-NCAA Meet in Terre Haute, Ind. while the rest of the team heads to the Wisconsin-Parkside Invitational.
The Mid-Continent Conference Cross Country Championships are slated for Saturday, October 30 in Rochester, Mich., with Oakland serving as this year's event host. The season will conclude on November 13 at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships held in Ypsilanti, Mich.
The Crusader women are coming off of a third place finish at the Mid-Con Championships in 2003, while the men will hope to improve upon their fourth place finish last season.