The Cool Down/Warm Up (Week of Oct. 8)

Welcome to another edition of The Cool Down/Warm Up!

From The USTFCCCA InfoZoneWeekly Scoreboard
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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 four full conferences committed to competing during this fall segment – 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

There were a number of bigger meets this past weekend.

Oklahoma State hosted the Cowboy Jamboree on its new cross country course, the same tract of land that is scheduled to hold the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships on March 15. Iowa State swept the individual titles as National Athlete of the Week Wesley Kiptoo won the men’s race and former National Athlete of the Week Cailie Logue took the women’s crown. In the team standings, Oklahoma State beat Iowa State in a barnburner for the men’s title, while Iowa State nabbed the top spot in the women’s race.

Teams from several conferences converged on the Florida State Invitational. Georgia’s men got a huge boost from individual champion Sam Bowers, as it also captured the team title. Mercy Chelengat and Jami Reed of Alabama went 1-2 in the women’s race, but it wasn’t enough as Florida State’s depth turned away the Crimson Tide, 38-51.

Over in Louisville, Ole Miss’ men and Notre Dame’s women brought home their respective gender’s team titles at the Live in the Lou Cross Country Classic. The Rebels put their entire scoring lineup in the top-10, led by a 2-3-4 finish behind individual champion Paul Arredondo of Charlotte. The Irish saw its top-5 athletes finish 6-7-9-12-13 for 47 points, which was enough to hold off a strong challenge by Ole Miss (54 points).

One other meet of note was the Gans Creek Classic, where Missouri hosted several other SEC programs. Arkansas continued its dominance on the women’s side of things, but Sarah Chapman gave the hosts an individual title and was named National Athlete of the Week.

The Weekend That Will Be

A few ACC teams got a head-start on the weekend, running at the Wolfpack Invitational on Wednesday morning. Virginia picked up a close head-to-head victory over NC State in the men’s race, topping them by a score of 28-31. The Cavaliers were led by Rohann Asfaw’s individual title and took the team title when Derek Johnson crossed the finish line in ninth place, five spots head of the fifth NC State runner. Over in the women’s race, NC State cruised to a 24-49 victory over North Carolina. Dominique Clairmonte led three Wolfpack athletes in the top-4 with an individual title, her first of the season and just the second of her collegiate career.

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

There were a number of meets this past weekend that featured NCAA Division II programs.

Here are those in which said programs snagged a team title.

  • Chadron State Invitational – South Dakota Mines’ men, South Dakota Mines’ women
  • Columbia College Invitational – Augusta’s men, Augusta’s women
  • East Texas Shootout – UT Tyler’s men, Dallas Baptist’s women
  • Idaho Milk Products CSI Classic – Westminster (Utah)’s women
  • Live in the Lou Cross Country Classic – Lee (Tenn.)’s men, Cedarville’s women
  • Tiffleberg Invitational – Hillsdale’s men, Hillsdale’s women
  • UNC Pembroke-Francis Marion Dual – UNC Pembroke’s men, UNC Pembroke’s women
  • Warrior Invitational – Belmont Abbey’s men, Southern Wesleyan (S.C.)’s women

Our National Athletes of the Week came from the Live in the Lou Cross Country Classic, where Christian Noble of Lee (Tenn.) and Celine Ritter of Lee (Tenn.) trounced the fields in the Blue Races. Noble won by one minute, 18 seconds; Ritter finished nearly six seconds up on the field.

The Weekend That Will Be

Teams from the GLVC will be split between two meets this weekend. Illinois Springfield hosts the GLVC East Preview with UIndy, Lewis, McKendree, Missouri St. Louis, Quincy and Southern Indiana. Lindenwood welcomes Drury, Maryville, Missouri S&T, Rockhurst, Southwest Baptist, Truman and William Jewell to the GLVC West Preview.

A number of teams will compete at the Maverick Invitational, hosted by Colorado Mesa University. Many of those teams entered are from the RMAC, including Adams State, MSU Denver and Western Colorado, among others. You’ll also see College of Southern Idaho there, one of the top-ranked JUCO teams in the nation.

West Texas A&M is expected to host the Buffalo Stampede. Two other NCAA DII programs will be in the mix alongside the Buffs: Midwestern State and UC Colorado Springs.

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

Most of the action at the NCAA Division III level was concentrated between two meets featuring teams from the MIAA at the Calvin-hosted Knight Invite. Brandan Knepper led Calvin’s men to a team title with an individual title, which propelled them to an 18-48 win over Trine. Over in the women’s race, Evie Bultemeyer paced Trine to the team title with her individual title (The Thunder also had seven runners in the top-11). Both Butlemeyer and Knepper were named National Athletes of the Week for their efforts.

The Weekend That Will Be

Luther hosts Loras and Nebraska Wesleyan in what should be a good team battle. Both the Duhawks and the Norse posted sweeps last time out. Dubuque hosts Buena Vista and Coe, while Wartburg looks to remain undefeated this season when it faces Central and Simpson on its home course.

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

The most notable meet featuring NJCAA athletes this past weekend transpired in Iola, Kansas, where Allen CC hosted the Red Devil Duals. Athletes from NJCAA Division I took on those from NJCAA Division II as the NJCAA DII #2 Allen CC men and the NJCAA DI #8 Dodge City CC women earned team title. The Red Devils defended their home turf thanks to a third-place effort from National Athlete of the Week Devan Crow, while the Conquistadors put four in the top-15. The individual titles went to Teagan Flanagan of Hutchinson CC and Lubna Suied of Cowley CC, both of whom earned National Athlete of the Week honors.

NJCAA DI #1/#1 Iowa Central CC fared well at the Briar Cliff Invitational. The Triton men won the men’s team title with 24 points over NAIA program Dordt (Iowa) and NJCAA DI #3 Iowa Western CC; Eleonora Curtabbi paced the Iowa Central women’s program, but didn’t have too much help as it placed fifth in the team standings behind four NAIA programs.

The Weekend That Will Be

A normally strong opportunity for JUCO athletes to compete against each other – and versus a number of other divisions – was wiped off the map due to the pandemic. The Fort Hays State Tiger Open, which had 36 teams and 540 athletes last year, won’t be contested this year.

There is a strong chance of some JUCO competition at the Bethel Invitational. One team that is locked in for sure is Cloud County (Kan.) CC, home of the third-ranked women and the seventh-ranked men in the most recent National Coaches’ Polls.

Also keep an eye out for the Heartland (Ill.) CC Invitational, which should have a number JUCO programs from all three levels competing. Heartland CC owns the second-ranked women and the sixth-ranked men at the NJCAA DII level. Lake County (Ill.) CC and Morain Valley (Ill.) CC will both also be action with their top-25 ranked NJCAA DII programs, as well as Joliet (Ill.) JC with its top-5 ranked NJCAA DIII programs.

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

The biggest collection of NAIA programs happened to be at the Briar Cliff Invitational this past weekend. Dordt (Iowa) captured the women’s team title over Concordia (Neb.) by a score of 35-63, while Dordt (Iowa)’s men finished runner-up to Iowa Central CC, 24-57. The best individual performance by an NAIA athlete at the meet came from Taylor Anema of Dordt (Iowa) in the women’s race, where she placed sixth overall as a freshman.

If teams didn’t race at Briar Cliff, then they headed to the Live in the Lou Classic at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park. Taylor (Ind.)’s men finished a distant runner-up in the Men’s Blue Race, while Taylor (Ind.)’s women took third place between several NCAA Division II programs. A strong individual effort was turned in by Landon Miller of Indiana Wesleyan, as he finished runner-up in the men’s race behind NCAA DII National Athlete of the Week Christian Noble.

The Weekend That Will Be

Bethel hosts 20 other teams at the Bethel Invitational this weekend. Among those teams competing are Cornerstone (Mich.), Huntington (Ind.), Indiana Tech, Indiana Wesleyan, Olivet Nazarene, Siena Heights (Mich.), St. Francis (Ill.) and St. Francis (Ind.).