The Michigan State Spartans have released the cross country schedule for the 2021 season. The season starts Sept. 3 and the regular season will conclude with the Big Ten Championship on Oct. 29 and the NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Nov. 12.
The full schedule is as follows:
- Sept. 3 — at Central Michigan University (Mt. Pleasant, Mich.)
- Sept. 17 — Spartan Invitational (East Lansing, Mich.)
- Sept. 24 — Griak Invitational (Minneapolis, Minn.)
- Oct. 1 — Notre Dame Invitational (South Bend, Ind.)
- Oct. 15 — Nuttycombe Invitational (Madison, Wis.)
- Oct. 22 EMU Fall Classic (Ypsilanti, Mich.)
- Oct. 29 — Big Ten Championship (State College, Pa.)
- Nov. 12 — NCAA Great Lakes Regional (Evansville, Ind.)
- Nov. 20 — NCAA Championship (Tallahassee, Fla.)
The Spartans will enter the 2021 fall season with plenty of momentum following back-to-back conference crowns by the women’s team in 2019 and 2020 to go with a fourth place finish at nationals. The men finished fourth in the conference and 17th at nationals as well.
In addition, newly named director of cross country and track & field Lisa Breznau is the reigning Big Ten Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year. She served as the program’s interim director last season after long-time director Walter Drenth retired last November and had the interim tag removed earlier this year.
In similar news, Spartans John Gove and Joe Riordan, both on the track & field team, received third-team College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-American honors earlier this month.
The two are the first Spartan men to earn the honors since Caleb Rhynard earned third-team honors in 2016.
Riordan earning a 4.00 in biosystems engineering as a senior this past season, and is also a member of the men’s cross country team. He was a competitor at the NCAA Championships when the men placed 17th nationally, and he finished ninth in the 5000 meters at the Big Ten Indoor Championship. Riordan is a native of Solon, Ohio is a five-time Big Ten Academic All-Big Ten honoree and three-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar. He also earned the President’s Award at the Student-Athlete Support Services Spartan Academic Excellence Gala.
Gove is a five-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and three-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar who captured All-American honors thanks to a 4.00 GPA in horticulture. He hails from Leominster, Massachusetts and earned the President’s Award at the Student-Athlete Support Services Spartan Academic Excellence Gala. He helped his team finish 12th in the 4X400 meters relay at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships and earned a personal record at the Billy Hayes Invite during the outdoor season in the 800 meters with a time of 1:50.29.