Weekend Preview: October 1-3

Welcome to October.

That means the collegiate cross country season is about to get wild.

From The USTFCCCA InfoZone: Meets & Results | USTFCCCA Scoreboard

Beginning this weekend, we’ll see multitudes of ranked teams descend on various regular season, championship-caliber meets across the nation over the next three weeks.

Here are several that caught our eye this weekend, because of the implications they could have on various National Coaches’ Polls. Scroll down (or click the names) to find out more about the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational, the Live in the Lou Cross Country Classic, the Paul Short Run and the Chile Pepper Festival, which take place on either Friday or Saturday.

Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational

Date: Friday, October 1 | Location: Notre Dame, Indiana

Buckle your seatbelts, folks.

There will be a total of 22 nationally-ranked teams from the NCAA Division I National Coaches’ Polls competing at the Joe Piane Invitational on Friday.

Fighting For Team Titles In Notre Dame!
CLICK HERE to see all of the ranked teams at the Joe Piane Invitational!

Top-30 Programs At Joe Piane Invitational

Men’s Teams
Women’s Teams
No. 2 Notre Dame
No. 1 NC State
No. 10 Butler
No. 3 New Mexico
No. 15 Alabama
No. 6 Alabama
No. 18 Ole Miss
No. 7 Minnesota
No. 19 Furman
No. 8 Washington
No. 25 Michigan
No. 15 Ole Miss
No. 26 Indiana

No. 18 Florida State

No. 28 Weber State
No. 19 Notre Dame
No. 29 Florida State
No. 21 Indiana
No. 30 Purdue
No. 23 Illinois
No. 29 Furman
No. 29 Princeton

The Women’s Blue Division 5k will be first on the course at 10:30 am ET – and for good reason. You’ll see 12 of those nationally-ranked teams in the mix, including five top-10 squads: co-No. 1 NC State, No. 3 New Mexico, No. 6 Alabama, No. 7 Minnestota and No. 8 Washington. Other ranked teams in the field include No. 15 Ole Miss, No. 18 Florida State, No. 19 Notre Dame, No. 21 Indiana, No. 23 Illinois, t-No. 29 Furman and t-No. 29 Princeton.

This could very well be the first time this season that we’ll see full rosters from all four of those top-10 teams compete. That means a plethora of All-Americans from this past spring will be in the mix, including five top-10 finishers: reigning champion Mercy Chelangat and third-place finisher Amaris Tyynismaa of Alabama, fifth-place finisher Hannah Steelman and ninth-place finisher Kelsey Chimel of NC State, and eighth-place finisher Bethany Hasz of Minnesota. Other All-Americans from this past spring include Adva Cohen and Gracelyn Larkin of New Mexico, Maudie Skyring and Rebecca Clark of Florida State, Katelyn Tuohy of NC State, Allie Schadler of Washington, Bailey Hertenstein of Indiana and Esther Gitahi of Alabama, among others.

The Men’s Blue Division 5 Mile is scheduled to start at 11:15 am ET with 11 nationally-ranked teams in the field, including a top-10 matchup between No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 10 Butler. Other ranked teams in the race include No. 15 Alabama, No. 18 Ole Miss, No. 19 Furman, No. 25 Michigan, No. 26 Indiana, No. 28 Weber State, No. 29 Florida State, t-No. 30 Michigan State (The Spartans will bring their “B” team after the “A” team raced each of the past two weeks) and t-No. 30 Purdue.

This should be the first time we get a good look at the Irish, who finished runner-up to Northern Arizona this past spring in Stillwater, Oklahoma. That also means we could see all six of their All-Americans: top-10 finisher Danny Kilrea, Dylan Jacobs, Andrew Alexander, Jake Renfree, Yared Nuguse and Joshua Methner. On top of that, fans could see individual runner-up and currently undefeated Adriaan Wildschutt of Florida State, Cole Bullock and Mario Garcia Romo of Ole Miss, Devin Meyrer of Michigan and Simon Bedard of Butler, among others.

Needless to say, you don’t want to miss this meet.

Live In The Lou Cross Country Classic

Date: Saturday, October 2 | Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Cross-divisional competition and an important course preview are on the menu at the Live in the Lou Cross Country Classic on Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky.

Twenty-four teams that appeared in their division’s most recent National Coaches’ Polls will square off in the Gold and Silver Races at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park. That includes teams from NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and the NAIA.

Off To The Races In Derby City!
CLICK HERE to see all of the ranked teams at the Live in the Lou Cross Country Classic!

Nationally-Ranked At Live In The Lou

Gold Races
Men’s Race
Women’s Race
NCAA DI No. 14 Wisconsin

NCAA DI No. 8 Michigan

NCAA DII No. 1 Grand Valley State
NCAA DI No. 26 Wisconsin
NCAA DII No. 11 Queens (N.C.)
NCAA DII No. 1 Grand Valley State
NCAA DII No. 22 West Texas A&M
NCAA DII No. 7 UC-Colorado Springs
NCAA DII No. 28 Mississippi College
NCAA DII No. 11 Queens (N.C.)
NAIA No. 3 Taylor (Ind.)
NCAA DII No. 14 Cedarville
NAIA No. 8 St. Francis (Ill.)
NCAA DII No. 25 West Texas A&M
NAIA No. 12 Cornerstone (Mich.)
NCAA DIII No. 1 Johns Hopkins
NAIA No. 15 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)
NCAA DIII No. 18 Hope
NAIA No. 16 Montreat (N.C.)
NAIA No. 1 St. Francis (Ill.)
NAIA No. 3 Cornerstone (Mich.)
NAIA No. 4 Taylor (Ind.)
NAIA No. 8 Montreat (N.C.)
NAIA No. 12 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)
Silver Races
NCAA DIII No. 7 North Central (Ill.)
NCAA DIII No. 14 UW-La Crosse
NCAA DIII No. 11 Johns Hopkins
NCAA DIII No. 16 Calvin
NCAA DIII No. 13 UW-La Crosse
NCAA DIII No. 21 Emory
NCAA DIII No. 16 Emory
NCAA DIII No. 34 Lynchburg
NCAA DIII No. 19 Calvin
NCAA DIII No. 24 Lynchburg
NCAA DIII No. 35 DePauw

While the Men’s College Gold Race goes off first at 9:30 am ET, the Women’s College Gold Race – set to begin 45 minutes later – is the headliner. You’ll see No. 1 programs from three different divisions competing against each other: NCAA DII No. 1 Grand Valley State, NCAA Division III No. 1 Johns Hopkins and NAIA No. 1 St. Francis (Ill.). All three of those programs have won recent championships in their respective division: the Saints won the team title this past spring when the NAIA Championships were postponed until April; the Lakers last topped the podium in 2018 and finished runner-up in 2019; the Blue Jays took home top honors in 2019, in addition to 2017 and 2016.

There are 11 other nationally-ranked programs in the Women’s College Gold Race, including NCAA DI No. 8 Michigan, NCAA DII No. 7 UC-Colorado Springs and a trio of NAIA top-10 squads in No. 3 Cornerstone (Mich.), No. 4 Taylor (Ind.) and No. 8 Montreat (N.C.).

Let’s not discount the Men’s College Gold Race, though, which features NCAA DI No. 14 Wisconsin, NCAA DII co-No. 1 Grand Valley State, NAIA No. 3 Taylor (Ind.) and NAIA No. 8 St. Francis (Ill.), among others.

We’ll see 15 nationally-ranked NCAA DIII programs between the Men’s College Silver Race and Women’s College Silver Race at 12 pm ET and 12:45 pm, respectively. That’s because those races will serve as the de facto Pre-National Invitational, since the 2021 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships will be held on this same course on Saturday, November 20.

Five top-15 men’s programs are in the mix, as are three top-15 women’s programs: No. 5 MIT, No. 7 North Central (Ill), No. 11 Johns Hopkins and No. 13 UW-La Crosse are on the men’s side; No. 4 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, No. 7 MIT and No. 14 UW-La Crosse for the women.

Finally, there are nine nationally-ranked programs in the Blue Races, headlined by Aquinas (Mich.), which has the highest-ranked teams in both the Men’s Blue Race (No. 18) and the Women’s Blue Race (No. 5).

Paul Short Run

Date: Friday, October 1 | Location: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

For the first time since 2019, the Paul Short Run is back!

Friday will be the 47th running of the legendary meet, which began in 1969.

All told, 12 different races will traverse the 5k, 6k and 8k tracts at the Goodman Campus Cross Country Course on the campus of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

We’re most interested in the six races from 11 am ET to 2:30 pm ET, because those feature a plethora of nationally-ranked programs from all three NCAA divisions.

Look for the Women’s College Gold 6k Race at 11:45 am ET and the Men’s College Gold 8k at 12:15 pm ET to provide the most fireworks. That’s because you’ll see 11 total nationally-ranked programs between those two races, including NCAA DI No. 12 Iona, NCAA DI No. 16 Utah State, NCAA DI No. 23 North Carolina, NCAA DII No. 3 Adams State and NCAA DIII No. 6 John Carroll on the men’s side and NCAA DI No. 12 Northern Arizona, NCAA DI No. 15 Georgetown and NCAA DII No. 3 Adams State on the women’s side, among others.

Don’t discount the Men’s College Brown 8k Race at 12:15 pm ET or the Women’s College Brown 6k Race at 1 pm ET, either. You’d miss out on some good racing between a number of nationally-ranked NCAA DIII programs looking to shake up the National Coaches’ Polls, including six in the Women’s College Brown 6k Race alone.

Chile Pepper Festival

Date: Friday, October 1 | Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas

High-caliber, cross-divisional racing awaits collegiate cross country fans at the Chile Pepper Festival on Friday at the Agri Park Cross Country Course in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

A total of 13 teams that were ranked the top-10 of their respective National Coaches’ Polls will compete between the McDonnell Memorial College Men’s 8k and the College Women’s 5k. The College Women’s 5k is first on the course at 5 pm CT, followed 30 minutes later by the McDonnell Memorial Men’s College 8k. All high school racing will be contested Saturday.

You’ll see eight of those 13 teams in the McDonnell Memorial Men’s College 8k, which includes NCAA DI No. 8 Arkansas, NCAA DII co-No. 1 Colorado School of Mines, NCAA DII No. 4 Augustana (S.D.), NCAA DII No. 8 Alabama-Huntsville, NJCAA DI No. 1 Iowa Central CC, NJCAA DI No. 3 Iowa Western CC, NJCAA DI No. 5 Cloud County (Kan.) CC and NJCAA DII No. 2 Cowley (Kan.). Don’t overlook NCAA DI No. 11 Tulsa or NCAA DII No. 18 Western Colorado, either.

That leaves five of those 13 teams in the College Women’s 5k: Arkansas headlines the group as the NCAA DI No. 10 program; a thrilling top-10 matchup between three NCAA DII programs is on the menu with No. 2 Colorado School of Mines facing No. 4 Augustana (S.D.) and No. 6 Southwest Baptist; look for a strong effort from NJCAA DI No. 3 Iowa Western CC, too.