WEEKEND PREVIEW: Cross Country Season Picks Up Steam

When the temperature starts to drop and the leaves start to change, you know business is about to pick up during the cross country season. After all, that means September is about to draw to a close and October – with all of its competitive goodness – is soon to arrive.

From The USTFCCCA InfoZone: Meets This Weekend

This year, the last weekend of September gives us a number of strong meets across a number of collegiate divisions: You’ll have top NCAA Division I programs doing battle at the Bill Dellinger Invitational in Springfield, Oregon … Ranked NCAA Division II programs spread out across the nation, most notably at the Capital Cross Challenge in Sacramento, California … And top teams at the NCAA Division III level vying for regional bragging rights at the Purple Valley Classic in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Bill Dellinger Invitational

Men’s Teams
Women’s Teams
No. 2 BYU
No. 6 BYU
No. 7 Portland
No. 9 Oregon
No. 11 Oregon
No. 13 Boise State
No. 24 UCLA
No. 15 Furman
No. 27 Air Force
No. 27 UCLA
No. 29 Villanova

You’re going to see a total of 11 ranked teams at the Bill Dellinger Invitational on Saturday, including six that were listed in the most recent Men’s National Coaches’ Poll and five that were among the top-30 of the most recent Women’s National Coaches’ Poll.

The last time BYU‘s men competed at this meet, they dominated. The Cougars, who were also ranked second at the time, put seven runners in the top-10 and scored a meager 17 points. That came the day before Northern Arizona stomped the competition at the Greater Louisville Classic to the tune of 19 points. Two years later, the Cougars have an idea of what the Lumberjacks are up to after the John McNichols Invitational, so we’ll see how they respond against a stout field.

Speaking of BYU, this will be the first true test for the women. The sixth-ranked Cougars continue to receive a first-place vote in the National Coaches’ Poll, so they can prove themselves worthy of that distinction here. No. 9 Oregon, No. 13 Boise State and No. 15 Furman won’t make things easy for BYU. Look out for the Paladins – a.k.a. #GirlGang – as they’ve made incredible strides over the past few years and are ready to show they belong in the national conversation.

The Men’s 8K goes off at 10:30 am PT with the Women’s 6K slated for an 11:30 am PT start.

Capital Cross Challenge

Men’s Teams
Women’s Teams
No. 1 Mines
No. 5 Mines
No. 3 Chico State
No. 6 Chico State
No. 12 Alaska Anchorage
No. 7 Alaska Anchorage
No. 15 Cal State San Marcos
No. 8 Seattle Pacific
No. 18 Biola (Calif.)
No. 17 Cal State San Marcos
No. 19 Queens (N.C.)
No. 18 UC San Diego
No. 21 Biola (Calif.)
No. 24 Cal State East Bay

Teams wanting to get a preview of the course for the 2019 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships are headed out to Sacramento, California.

That’s where the Capital Cross Challenge will be held on the beautiful grounds of the Arcade Creek Golf Course.

You’ll see 14 nationally-ranked teams duke it out, including six top-10 teams: No. 1 Colorado School of Mines and No. 3 Chico State in the men’s race; No. 5 Colorado School of Mines, No. 6 Chico State, No. 7 Alaska Anchorage and No. 8 Seattle Pacific in the women’s race.

Mines easily swept the proceedings last year at the de facto NCAA DII Pre-Nationals. The Oredigger men scored a meager 19 points to beat runner-up Mount Olive and Queens (N.C.) by 107 points(!), while the women totaled 37 in a 54-point romp.

The Men’s 8K goes off at 9:40 am PT with the Women’s 6K scheduled for one hour later.

Purple Valley Classic

Men’s Teams
Women’s Teams
No. 2 Williams
No. 4 Williams
No. 10 MIT
No. 5 MIT
No. 16 RPI
No. 8 Tufts
No. 18 Amherst
No. 10 RPI
No. 21 Middlebury
No. 19 Middlebury
No. 34 Connecticut College
No. 24 Wesleyan (Conn.)

There are several meets during the NCAA Division III regular season where a team can truly make a statement with its performance.

The Purple Valley Classic is one of those meets.

You’ll see a total of 12 ranked teams – six men’s and six women’s – compete at Mt. Greylock High School this weekend. All of those teams hail from the New England Region and are firmly entrenched in their spots in the regional rankings as well.

Expect a great battle for the women’s team title between four national top-10 teams: No. 4 Williams, No. 5 MIT, No. 8 Tufts and No. 10 RPI. While the five-time defending champion Ephs are favored – and justifiably so – don’t overlook either of the Engineers (This will be MIT’s season debut) or the Jumbos, for that matter.

Over in the men’s race, this will be an important step for No. 2 Williams. The Ephs have pulled first-place votes away from North Central (Ill.) in each of the past two weeks and if they want to usurp that perennial favorite, a convincing win here would go a long way.

Racing at the Purple Valley Classic begins at 12:10 pm ET on Saturday.

Other Meets Of Interest

Ohio State Invitational/Big Ten Preview

You might get a small taste of what to expect come early November at the Big Ten Championships this weekend. That’s because five nationally-ranked teams from the Big Ten will get a preview of the course that they’ll run on November 3 in Columbus, Ohio.

The women’s teams from No. 6 Michigan, No. 11 Michigan State, No. 16 Penn State and No. 21 Ohio State and the men from No. 16 Michigan are scheduled to traipse all over the Ohio State University Golf Club on Saturday morning.

Roy Griak Invitational

We’ll see some strong battles between nationally-ranked teams in NCAA Division II on the 8K tract at the Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. There will be five women’s teams and three men’s teams that were ranked in the most recent National Coaches’ Polls, headlined by the No. 4 U-Mary women and the No. 7 Augustana (S.D.) men.

SEE MORE: What Makes The Roy Griak Invitational Special?

Trevecca Division II Showcase

There will be six nationally-ranked teams in action at the Trevecca Division II Showcase on Saturday.

You will be able to stream the meet free of charge thanks to Trevecca Nazarene’s athletic department.