UW-Oshkosh To Host Celebrity-Filled Cross Country Meet

UW-Oshkosh To Host Celebrity-Filled Cross Country Meet

Lake Breeze Golf Course will challenge 21 nationally ranked teams when nearly 1,200 athletes compete in the UW-Oshkosh Brooks Cross Country Invitational on Saturday (Oct. 16) in Winneconne.

The event includes an 8,000-meter race for the men at 10:30 a.m. and a 6,000-meter run for the women at 11:15 a.m. Following the conclusion of the women’s race, Sam Seemes, Chief Executive Officer of the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), will present UW-Oshkosh with the 2010 Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year Award.

The Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year Award is named after USTFCCCA Hall of Famer and legendary UW-Oshkosh cross country and track and field coach Deb Vercauteren. The award honors the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III institution that achieved the most success while competing at national meets in the sports of women’s cross country, women’s indoor track and field and women’s outdoor track and field.

UW-Oshkosh earned last year’s Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year Award after finishing second nationally in both indoor and outdoor track and field and 13th in cross country. In 2009, Wartburg College (Iowa) won the inaugural Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year Award.

Nearly 40 men’s teams will take part in this year’s UW-Oshkosh Brooks Invitational, including nine ranked in the top 25 of the NCAA Division III by the USTFCCCA. Leading the list of NCAA Division III entrants are top-ranked North Central College (Ill.), second-ranked Washington University (Mo.), seventh-ranked UW-Stevens Point, eighth-ranked Calvin College (Mich.), ninth-ranked New York University, 10th-ranked UW-Whitewater, 14th-ranked Augustana College (Ill.), 22nd-ranked UW-Oshkosh and 25th-ranked Grinnell College (Iowa). Also in the field of teams is Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.), the 19th-ranked squad in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

North Central College, the defending NCAA Division III champion, won last year’s meet with 22 points. UW-Stevens Point finished second with 97 points and Augustana College third with 151. UW-Oshkosh placed fifth with 168 points.

The women’s division of this year’s UW-Oshkosh Brooks Invitational features about 40 teams as well. Among them are 10 squads ranked in the top 25 of the NCAA Division III by the USTFCCCA. Highlighting the group of NCAA Division III participants are fourth-ranked Washington University, seventh-ranked UW-Oshkosh, 10th-ranked Calvin College, 13th-ranked Hope College (Mich.), 15th-ranked University of Chicago (Ill.), 26th-ranked UW-Stevens Point , 30th-ranked New York University and 34th-ranked Emory University (Ga.). The University of Minnesota-Duluth, ranked seventh in the NCAA Division II by the USTFCCCA, and Olivet Nazarene University, ranked 25th in the NAIA, are also scheduled to compete in the meet.

Calvin College captured last year’s title with 80 points, while Washington University placed second with 93 and the University of Minnesota-Duluth third with 98. UW-Oshkosh, led by individual champion Ayla Mitchell, finished fifth with 182 points.

Runners will be covering the same terrain as the 1999 NCAA Division III Championship and the 2009 NCAA Division III Midwest Regional. This route at the Lake Breeze Golf Course will also be the home of the 2011 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship.

Admission to the UW-Oshkosh Brooks Invitational is $5 per vehicle, and spectators are encouraged to arrive early.