Statesboro, Ga. - The Georgia Southern Cross Country team announced its 2011 schedule which includes five regular-season races, beginning with the Gamecock Invitational that will be held this Friday, September 2 at 6 p.m.

Guiding the Eagles this season will be new head coach and former Georgia Southern Track and Field student-athlete, Marlo Mincey. Mincey, who finished her competitive career at Georgia Southern with six Southern Conference titles beside her name, returns to Statesboro after two successful years as the assistant track and field coach for the men's and women's teams at Georgetown University. Prior to joining the Hoyas program, Mincey served as the head coach for Fort Valley State's men's and women's cross country and track and field programs.

The Eagles look to build on a 2010 season which saw them finish a season-high second place at the Jaguar Invitational midway through the season, before finishing 12th at the Southern Conference Championship. The Eagles were forced to compete without two of their top runners in the championship due to injuries.

"We are looking to improve on last year's performance as a team at the conference championship," said Mincey. "We are expecting a steady progression throughout the season along with solid and consistent performances."

Junior Sara Curry returns for her third season after a successful 2010 campaign where she recorded two of the top ten fastest times in Georgia Southern cross country history, including the third quickest time ever recorded by an Eagle in the 5K. Seniors Azura Robillard and Brittani Martin also return this season and will be joined by juniors Heather McAllister, Talicia Rice, Amanda Tennyson and Blaine Richards and sophomores Amanda Ventre, Asea Mayfield and Kristiana Towns. Newcomers Rebecca and Rachel Greenwell, Megan Sullivan and Lindsay Mullican fill the final roster spots this season.

"Sara Curry was our top runner last year, and we will look for her to challenge all the other runners," said Mincey. "We will also look to seniors Azura Robillard and Brittani Martin to step up and play key roles this season. The progression of our newcomers will play a large role throughout the season and at the Southern Conference Championship."

Georgia Southern was picked to finish 12th by conference coaches in the 2011 preseason coach's poll. UNC Greensboro was selected as the preseason favorite, receiving ten of twelve first place votes.

The Eagles begin the 2011 season this Friday, September 2nd at the Gamecock Invitational in Columbia, S.C. where they have finished fourth overall each of the past three years.

Fans can follow their Eagles at GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com or receive short updates at facebook.com/GSAthletics, twitter.com/GSAthletics or on Google+ at gplus.to/GSAthletics.