The Cool Down/Warm Up (Week of Oct. 1)

We don’t know if you heard, but cross country is (mostly) back!

Full competition is happening at the NJCAA level, while those in NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and the NAIA have a smattering of action each week after either cancelling or postponing their championships until spring.

From The USTFCCCA InfoZone: Weekly Scoreboard

Here is a look back at the Weekend That Was and a look ahead to the Weekend That Will Be.

NCAA Division I

As it stands right now, there are five full conferences committed to competing during this fall segment – American Athletic Conference (AAC), Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big 12 Conference, Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the Sun Belt Conference. Both the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) and Conference USA left it up to each individual institution.

The Weekend That Was

A number of teams from the ACC opened up this past weekend a several triangular meets. Virginia’s men and North Carolina’s women earned victories at the Virginia Classic, NC State swept the team titles at the Virginia Tech Invitational and Syracuse won both the men’s and women’s crowns at the Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown. Our National Athletes of the Week came from the Virginia Classic, where Rohann Asfaw and Sasha Neglia picked up individual victories.

Elsewhere, North Texas captured both team titles at the UTA XC Invitational and UAB’s women reigned at the John “Doc” Anderson Invitational hosted by Troy.

The Weekend That Will Be

The biggest meet of the weekend is the FSU Invitational hosted by Florida State at Apalachee Regional Park on Friday. There are 12 programs from four different conferences sending both of their men’s and women’s programs – Alabama, Auburn, Boston College, Clemson, FIU, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Miami (Fla.) and South Alabama – while Mississippi State, South Carolina, Southern Miss and UAB have only their women in the mix. The College Men’s Invitational 8K begins at 7:40 am ET with the College Women’s Invitational 5K following 30 minutes later.

Seven different Big 12 programs will compete at the Cowboy Jamboree on Saturday, hosted by Oklahoma State on the same course that is expected to hold the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships that were rescheduled to March 15. Oklahoma State welcomes Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Texas Tech to Stillwater.

The Live in the Lou Classic on Saturday should be as exciting as always. The Men’s Gold Seeded Race will feature Appalachian State, Charlotte, Kentucky, Louisville, Marshall, Notre Dame, Ole Miss and Tennessee, while the Women’s Gold Seeded Race has all of those teams in addition to West Virginia.

Missouri welcomes three other SEC programs to its home course on Saturday for the Gans Creek Classic: Arkansas (women only), Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.

Other News

Dartmouth named Porscha Dobson as its new Director of Track & Field and Cross Country.

“Dobson becomes the third female director of both a men’s and women’s cross country and track & field program in the history of the Ivy League and the first African-American woman.”

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT DOBSON’S HIRE

NCAA Division II

As it stands right now, there are six full conferences committed to competing during the fall segment – Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC), Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC), Gulf South Conference, Lone Star Conference, Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) and the Peach Belt Conference.

The Weekend That Was

GLVC teams converged on a number of triangular meets within the conference. Notable performances came from Anthon Farmer of Lewis and Lauren Bailey of UIndy at the GLVC R1 Triangular hosted by UIndy. That’s because both of those athletes were named National Athletes of the Week on Tuesday. There were four perfect scores this weekend at those meets – Illinois-Springfield’s men and women, Lindenwood’s women and Truman’s men – while the closest competition came at the GLVC R1 Triangular and resulted in a three-point win for USI.

Other victories were turned in by Newman’s men at the Tabor Cottonwood Challenge, Dallas Baptist’s men and women at the DBU Opener, UAH at the Troy Trojan Invitational, as well as Cedarville’s women and Walsh’s men at the Cedarville Open.

The Weekend That Will Be

Several NCAA DII programs will be at the Live in the Lou Classic on Saturday. Cedarville, Lee (Tenn.), Malone and Union (Tenn.) will have both their men’s and women’s teams entered in the Blue Seeded Races, which also feature programs from NCAA DI and the NAIA.

NCAA Division III

As it stands right now, there are three full conferences committed to competing during the fall segment – American Rivers Conference (A-R-C), Northwest Conference (NWC) and the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). Other conferences allowed individual institutions to make their own decisions based on local health directives.

The Weekend That Was

Triangular meets headlined the week with A-R-C competition picking up. Joe Freiburger of Wartburg and Kassie Rosenbum of Loras earned big individual victories and were named National Athletes of the Week for their efforts. Otherwise, it sweeps ruled the weekend as Loras, Luther and Wartburg all went 2 for 2 at their respective meets.

The Weekend That Will Be

Action at the NCAA DIII level will be sparse this weekend with one or two teams scheduled to run at the Live in the Lou Classic on Saturday.

NJCAA

Full competition is happening across the board at the NJCAA level with the 2020 NJCAA Cross Country Championships still set for Saturday, November 14 in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

The Weekend That Was

Both of our National Athletes of the Week came out of the Tabor Cottonwood Challenge, where Cloud County (Kan.) watched Habtamu Geta and Patricia Koma turn in solid efforts. Koma won the individual title in the women’s race to lead the T-Birds to victory, while Geta finished second individually and the team followed suit.

We also saw some great performances from athletes at the 27th Annual Mustang Gallop and the Spartan Classic. The former was highlighted by National Athlete of the Week Sam Mickelson leading Hawkeye (Iowa) CC to a dual meet victory with an individual title; the latter saw North Iowa Area CC sweep the proceedings thanks to wins by Jorge Ruiz and Sarah Bertry.

The Weekend That Will Be

Look out for at least three meets in which JUCO athletes will compete this weekend. They will most likely be at the New Mexico JC Invitational on Friday as well as the Briar Cliff Invitational in South Dakota and the South Plains Invitational in Texas on Saturday.

NAIA

After the NAIA postponed its Cross Country Championships to April 9, 2021, it left the decision to compete in the fall up to individual institutions based on local health directives.

The Weekend That Was

Nine different meets featured athletes from NAIA programs last week.

Here are those teams that picked up victories.

  • UNA Invitational – William Carey (Miss.) men and women
  • Patty Forgey Invitational – Shawnee State men and women
  • St. Ambrose Invitational – St. Ambrose (Iowa) men and women
  • Yellowjacket Classic – Benedictine (Kan.) men and women
  • Shane Grever Invitational – Valley City State (N.D.) men and Dickinson State (N.D.) women
  • Frontier Conference Rumble – Rocky Mountain (Mont.) men and Carroll (Mont.) women
  • flrunners.com Invitational – Southeastern (Fla.) men and women
  • Dean White Invitational – Doane (Neb.) men and Concordia (Neb.) women

This doesn’t even begin to count the number of strong individual efforts from athletes from those programs as well, notably Jacob Kipkogei of William Carey (Miss.) and Becca Richtman of Montana Tech who were named National Athletes of the Week by the NAIA National Office.

The Weekend That Will Be

Two NAIA programs are hosting meets this weekend: Briar Cliff (Iowa) welcomes runners to its Briar Cliff Invitational; Huntington (Ind.) does the same at the Huntington Invitational.

A number of NAIA programs will also compete at the 19th Annual Live in the Lou Classic at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park on Saturday with perhaps the best racing coming in the Blue Race: Bethel (Ind.), Cornerstone (Mich.), Cumberland (Tenn.), Indiana Wesleyan, Marian (Ind.), Shawnee State and St. Francis (Ill.) all have men’s and women’s teams entered in the competition.