ATLANTA -- Teams from Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia will challenge the Georgia State Panthers on Friday in the 38th running of the GSU Cross Country Invitational.

On the rolling hills of the Nash Farm Battlefield course in Hampton, Ga., eight women’s teams will start the 4k race at 4 p.m. ET on Friday, Sept. 20. A men’s 8k race will follow at approximately 4:30 p.m.

Auburn of the SEC and Troy of the Sun Belt Conference will come from Alabama to compete. Chattanooga of the SoCon will come from Tennessee to race. In state, the Georgia Southern Eagles of the SoCon (and soon to be Sun Belt), plus the Kennesaw State Owls and the Mercer Bears of the Atlantic Sun are set to challenge host Georgia State. The West Georgia Wolves of the Division II Gulf South Conference will join the competition. In the men’s division, Florida A&M will also send a team for that race. 

Auburn, currently ranked No. 5 in the South Region rankings, was second and GSU third in the season-opening meet at Troy on Aug. 30. Chattanooga comes in at No. 9 in the South Region, making for a strong field on Friday.

Nash Farm Battlefield Park, Georgia State’s home course since 2010, is located at 100 Babbs Mill Road in Hampton, Ga. The Civil War Battlefield is off Exit 221 of I-75 south of Atlanta on Jonesboro Road, about five miles from the interstate. Admission and parking are free on site.

With six returning letterwinners, Georgia State is the defending champion of the Sun Belt Conference and setting a pace to repeat on Nov. 2 in the title meet at Troy. GSU’s top runner this season has been junior Hannah Stefanoff, who was named the Sun Belt Conference Runner of the Week after winning the JSU/Struts Invitational on Sept. 7 for her fourth career victory.

“We look forward on Friday to playing host to this annual event and are delighted to have a strong and competitive field to challenge all the teams,” coach Chris England said. “The venue is great and we appreciate all that both the facility and our GSU staff does to get us ready to put on this 38th GSU Invitational.”