HANOVER, N.H. - The 2011 Dartmouth men's cross country season finally gets underway this Saturday morning with the Dartmouth Invitational. The men's race will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Hanover Country Club cross country course.

The Big Green will face tough competition in their season-opening meet as Boston College, Brown, Middlebury and New Hampshire will also be competing in the annual race.

Head coach Barry Harwick's team will look to repeat their performance from a year ago when they took first place with 25 team points. Senior Ethan Shaw (Falmouth, Maine) claimed the top overall spot in last season's race, pacing the field with a 25:28.50 finish. Shaw is one of the top runners in the Ivy League the last two years, culminating in a third-place showing at the 2010 league championships.

Starting the season ranked No. 30 in the nation by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), Dartmouth is also fourth in the Northeast Region.

Senior Brad Kenimer (Alexandria, Va.) and juniors Phil Royer (Portsmouth, R.I.) and Jonathan Gault (Bedford, Mass.) join Shaw as returners from last year's team who scored points for the Big Green at the Ivy meet in 2010.

After Saturday's race, Dartmouth will have a few weeks to prepare for its next competition. The Big Green will return to action next on Sept. 30 when they travel to Lehigh to compete in the Paul Short Invitational.