Buffalo, NY-D'Youville College has sponsored women's cross country since 2003, and then in 2006 added men's cross country. And for the first time, D'Youville will host a cross country meet. Despite the Athletic Department's lack of experience in hosting an outdoor running event, the Spartan's staff has tackled quite an undertaking in hosting the 2013 Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Women's & Men's Cross Country Championships.
It's the equivalent of having a major league baseball team, always playing on the road, and then hosting the World Series without a home park.
The event will take place Saturday November 2 at Delaware Park in Buffalo and 10 women's teams will compete in a six-kilometer race and 10 men's team will follow with an eight-kilometer race. Between the two races over 200 runners are expected to participate and between the participants, coaches, and fans, Delaware Park will be a busy place on a late autumn Saturday. Start time for the women's race is 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. for the men's race. The event can be accessed in Delaware Park through the Agassiz Circle entrance, located on Parkside Avenue just before the intersection of Route 198.
D'Youville Athletic Director Brian Cavanaugh didn't just want runners to run a race then leave town, he envisioned creating a memorable event celebrating the participation of over 200 NCAA Division III Student-Athletes. "We wanted to raise the bar in terms of level of commitment towards this event, and I think we have. This isn't going to be another meet, it's going to be a championship experience."
Since the D'Youville staff didn't know the first thing about hosting a large scale running event, the first thing Cavanaugh did was enlist the experience of someone who did. James Nowicki event organizer of Buffalo's Subaru Chase was called in to take the lead.
"Jim's know how in organizing an event like this and his resources in the running community have been instrumental in bringing our vision of this championship to life," said Cavanaugh. "The planning of this event began months ago."
Why Delaware Park?
"It's the heart of the city," began Cavanaugh. "D'Youville's roots are inside the City of Buffalo. We also wanted a place that would be easily accessible so our student population could support the event. Plus, our coach has a special connection with Delaware Park."
Spartan Head Coach Bill Maloney, a member of the Canisius College and Canisius High School Halls of Fame, set a course record there during his scholastic running days.
When asked about his record, Maloney chuckled and said, "well…it was a different course in a different area of the park a long time ago. But I do have great memories of running here (at Delaware Park) and to have our teams compete here is a special thing. It's a lot of work to put on this event, and not something I would want to do every year but it's going to be a great experience for everyone."