By Courtney Morrison-Archer, Asst. Commissioner for Public Affairs
With the leaves changing and the smell of pumpkin and bonfires filling the air, that must mean its Conference USA Fall Championship Season!
Halloween will be a real treat as the Conference USA Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships will be held on Monday, Oct. 31 at Wildcat Golf Course in Houston, Texas. Rice University will serve as host for the annual event, which offers free admission to fans. The men's 8K race is scheduled for a 9 a.m. CT start, while the women's 6K race will begin at 10 a.m. An awards ceremony will follow the races at 11 a.m.
Tulsa is the defending C-USA men's and women's cross country champion after becoming the third program in league history to sweep the championship titles. The TU men are one of four C-USA teams ranked among the Top 10 in their respective regions. Tulsa women are ranked No. 30 in the country.
UTEP claimed both individual winners in 2010 as the men finished second and the women placed third as a team. Two-time C-USA medalist for the women, Risper Kimaiyo, returns to this year's meet looking to become the first three-repeat champion in league history. Pushing her on Halloween Monday will be redshirt senior and 2008 individual medalist Silje Fjortoft of SMU. Both enter the championship race with stellar regular-season results. The individual medalist on the men's side from a year ago also returns in UTEP's Elkana Rotich.
More information will be available here on the C-USA Cross Country Championship Central page.
The 2011 C-USA Women's Soccer Championship begins later that week as the top eight teams in the regular-season advance to this year's tournament at Mike Rose Soccer Stadium in Memphis, Tenn. The host Tigers completed an unbeaten regular season with an 18-0-1 overall mark and 10-0-1 in league play to secure the top seed. No. 9 Memphis is also the four-time defending champion, but there will be seven teams trying to upend their host this year.
As of this writing, seven of the eight teams had secured their tournament berths. Besides Memphis, Colorado College is the only other team to have clinched its seed at No. 2. SMU, UCF, East Carolina , Tulsa and UTEP will also be among the tournament field, but seeding will be determined following matches on Friday and Sunday. The eighth and final spot will go to the winner of Friday night's Houston-Rice crosstown rivalry match-up.
First-round games will be played Wednesday, Nov. 2, beginning with Colorado College vs. the No. 7 seed at Noon CT. Top-seeded Memphis will play the 8 p.m. CT contest. Semifinal matches start at 5 p.m. CT on Friday, Nov. 4 and the title game on Sunday, Nov. 6, will be televised live on CBS Sports Network at 1 p.m. CT.
For ticket information as well as a final schedule and stats, check out the C-USA Women's Soccer Championship Central page.
The field is already set for the 2011 C-USA Men's Soccer Championship, which will be held November 9-13 in Tulsa, Okla., however each team must wrap up its regular season before seeding can be determined. Marshall, Memphis, SMU, South Carolina, UAB and UCF have secured their bids in the six-team field.
The Blazers and Gamecocks enter the next-to-last weekend of the regular season in a tie for first place, but five of the six teams are still in contention for one of the top two seeds and a first-round bye. Those quarterfinal games will be played on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. CT. Winners will advance to play those top two seeds at the same match times on Friday, Nov. 11. The men's title game will also be televised live on CBS Sports Network at 1 p.m. CT on Sunday, Nov. 13, with the winner earning an automatic berth to the NCAA Championship.
For ticket information in Tulsa as well as a complete championship schedule and stats, check out the C-USA Men's Soccer Championship Central page.
Of course, you can also get the latest championship updates on our website at www.ConferenceUSA.com and the C-USA Digital Network.