Rio Grande Sports Information
RIO GRANDE, Ohio - More than 900 runners representing 55 schools in six divisions will be on the University of Rio Grande campus on Saturday for the 2016 Patty Forgey Invitational cross country meet.
The event, which is in its 46th year, includes a men's and women's division for college teams, as well as a boys' and girls' division for junior high/middle school teams and high school squads.
"Aside from the times that we host a conference championship and or advance to anything on the national level, this is the biggest event on our schedule," said veteran Rio Grande head coach Bob Willey. "It's a great way to bring people to our campus and introduce them to the University of Rio Grande. There's a lot of work that goes into it but, at the same time, it also gives our athletes the opportunity to run at home."
The meet, which serves as the season opener for Rio Grande, will get underway at 10 a.m. with the girls' high school division, with the boys' high school division to follow at 10:40 a.m. The junior high girls' division begins at 11:20 a.m. and precedes the junior high boys' division race at 11:55 p.m.
The women's college race begins at 12:30 p.m. and the men's college event follows at 1:10 p.m. to close out the day.
The field in the college division includes the host RedStorm, the University of Pikeville, Ohio Valley University and Kentucky Christian University.
Rio Grande is the defending champion in the women's division, while the RedStorm men finished as the runner-up a year ago.
Among those competing in both junior high/middle school divisions are Barboursville (W.Va.), Caldwell, Fairland, Gallia Academy, Georgetown, Franklin Furnace Green, Huntington Ross, Hurricane (W.Va.), Liberty Union, Manchester, North Adams, Oak Hill, Peebles, Ripley (W.Va.), River Valley, Rock Hill, Trimble, West Union, Williamstown (W.Va.) and Winfield (W.Va.). Reedsville Eastern will participate in the girls division only, while Ironton, South Gallia, Parkersburg Catholic (W.Va.) and Wayne (W.Va.) will run only in the boys division.
Both high school divisions are comprised of Buffalo-Putnam (W.Va.), Caldwell, Reedsville Eastern, Fairland, Gallia Academy, Georgetown, Franklin Furnace Green, Huntington Ross, Hurricane (W.Va.), Ironton, Liberty Union, Lynchburg Clay, Manchester, North Adams, Oak Hill, Parkersburg Catholic (W.Va.), Peebles, Point Pleasant (W.Va.), Ripley (W.Va.), River Valley, Rock Hill, South Gallia, Trimble, Wayne (W.Va.), West Union and Williamstown (W.Va.).
The meet began in 1970 under the direction of then-URG head coach Dean Rhinehart and featured three divisions for high school boys, in addition to a division for men's college teams. Over the years, the event has grown to include women's teams in both the high school and college divisions, in addition to the creation of a middle school/junior high division.
The event is named in honor of Patty Forgey, a long-time secretary in the URG athletic department and avid supporter of the school's sports teams, who passed away in August 2010.
"Patty Forgey was the backbone of it all for a long time," Willey said. "She registered all of the teams by hand, deciphering the handwriting of every coach and did the bib number for each runner by hand. She put a lot of work into the meet."