The UNC cross country team announced its schedule for 2020 on Monday after months of uncertainty regarding whether fall sports would happen this year.
With a solidified schedule in place, head coach Chris Miltenberg is excited about the upcoming season. He said the team was grateful for the opportunity to compete, given that the track and field spring season was cut short and that many cross country teams in other states may not compete this year.
“It is not lost on them how incredible of an opportunity to have right now, to be here, to be together, to be practicing and to be able to compete," Miltenberg said.
The 2020 UNC cross country schedule consists of the following meets:
- Sept. 25: tri-meet with Wake Forest and Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.
- Oct. 7: ACC tri-meet in Cary, North Carolina.
- Oct. 16: tri-meet with Wake Forest and N.C. State in Kernersville, North Carolina.
- Oct. 30: ACC Championship in Cary, North Carolina.
Miltenberg said that since the athletes have not been able to train and practice in facilities as much since the pandemic, his team is ready for the new season to begin.
“We have been in such a unique role for six months already,” Miltenberg said. “I think our student-athletes are so adaptable and have learned to be grateful for what we do, and not what we can’t do, that I think they’re going to adapt to it really well.”
North Carolina graduate transfer Thomas Ratcliffe — who ran for Stanford under Miltenberg before the coach joined UNC in June 2019 — has the same enthusiasm toward the season as his coach. He's more grateful this year than in seasons past, he said, because of the uniqueness this season brings.
“It’s been a really long time since I’ve raced, and since I think a lot of collegiate athletes have raced, so I think definitely getting back to my passion for running itself and competition (is what I'm looking forward to),” Ratcliffe said. “You sort of lose sight of that when you’re just going about your business during a normal collegiate year, collegiate season, so I think just being excited for racing and (the) opportunity to get better.”