Weekend Preview: They’ll Be RACING In Minnesota & Oklahoma (Plus Other Places)
They’ll be racing with a capital “r” this weekend.
The first major weekend of the collegiate cross country season is upon us.
You better believe the results will reverberate through the National Coaches’ Polls.
Here are several meets that stood out the most from the impressive slate.
Read these numbers: No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, No. 4, No. 5, No. 6, No. 8 and No. 9.
Now you can read these: t-No. 3, t-No. 3, No. 5, No. 6, No. 7 and No. 9.
That’s how many top-10 teams from the most recent NCAA DI Cross Country National Coaches’ Polls will be in action at the Greiner Family OSU Cross Country Course in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Fans in attendance will see the Women’s Invitational 6k first at 7:45 am CT with the Men’s Invitational 8k 30 minutes later.
The Men’s Invitational 8k has the most eyes on it – and for good reason. Eight top-10 teams compete for one team title on Saturday: No. 1 Northern Arizona, No. 2 Oklahoma State, No. 3 Stanford, No. 4 BYU, No. 5 Colorado, No. 6 Tulsa, No. 8 Washington and No. 9 Wake Forest. That doesn’t even include seven other teams that cracked the top-30 in Week 2 (No. 11 Air Force leads the rest of the field).
Thirteen All-Americans from the 2021 NCAA DI Cross Country Championships are noted in the entry lists, which includes multiple Lumberjacks (Drew Bosley, George Kusche and Nico Young), Cougars (Casey Clinger and Weber State transfer Christian Allen) and Cardinal (Charles Hicks and Ky Robinson), among others. Hicks posted the best finish out of all of them last year (fourth).
The Women’s Invitational 6k features six top-10 squads, anchored by co-No. 3s Colorado and Oklahoma State. Others include No. 5 Stanford, No. 6 Washington, No. 7 BYU and No. 9 Arkansas. Both the Cougars and the Buffaloes finished on the podium last year, while the Cardinal wasn’t too far behind in sixth.
Five All-Americans from last year’s NCAA Championships are scheduled to compete: Taylor Roe of Oklahoma State, Tori Herman of Kentucky, Emily Covert of Colorado, Isabel Van Camp of Arkansas and Aubrey Frentheway of BYU. Roe, who won this meet last year, has been a force at the past two editions of the NCAA Championships with a fifth-place finish in November and a runner-up showing in March.
This is a major stop on the #RunToStillwater.
Roy Griak Invitational
The University of Minnesota Les Bolstad Golf Course will once again be the site of the Roy Griak Invitational this weekend. At least 22 NCAA DI programs and a host of others are entered between DI Gold Races and Division II & III Maroon Races on Friday afternoon.
The Merrill Fischbein Men’s Gold 8k, which begins at 10:30 am CT, features a Big Ten clash between two top-30 teams: No. 7 Wisconsin and No. 28 Michigan State. The Badgers have yet to compete this season, while the Spartans last toed the start line at the MSU Spartan Invitational and finished third. Don’t forget about the Jo Rider Men’s Maroon Race at noon CT, either: NCAA DII No. 4 Augustana (S.D.) will be in that race with NCAA DIII No. 4 UW-La Crosse.
The Jack Johnson Women’s Gold 6k, which begins at 11:15 am CT, will see seven teams that were ranked among the top-30 programs in the most recent National Coaches’ Poll: No. 13 Wisconsin, No. 14 Colorado State, No. 19 Utah, No. 23 Michigan State, No. 25 Ohio State, No. 26 Iowa State and t-No. 29 Cal Baptist. Then you’ll see NCAA DII No. 3 Augustana (S.D.) alongside NCAA DIII No. 9 UW-La Crosse in the Suzy Wilson Women’s Maroon Race at 12:45 pm CT.
Other Meets Of Note
Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown
Franklin Park will be the site of some strong racing on Friday.
The Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown welcomes 24 teams to the hallowed grounds in Boston for the 2022 edition. The Women’s Featured 5k begins at noon ET with the Men’s Featured 8k set to start 30 minutes later.
One of the most interesting story lines will be to see how MIT performs. The Engineers have the second-ranked men and sixth-ranked women in NCAA DIII, and both will be stepping up to face NCAA DI competition.
The meet attracting the most ranked squads from the most recent NJCAA National Coaches’ Polls this weekend is the Kirtland Invitational on Friday in Grayling, Mich.
Leading the list of teams is Lansing (Mich.) CC, which currently sits No. 1 in both the men’s and women’s coaches poll.
The Wolverine State provides additional ranked programs. The men’s race adds No. 8 St. Clair County (Mich.) CC, No. 12 Southwestern Michigan and No. 14 Grand Rapids (Mich.) CC, while the women’s contest has No. 6 Grand Rapids (Mich.) CC, No. 8 Southwestern Michigan, No. 11 St. Clair County (Mich.) CC, No. 15 Mott (Mich.) CC, No. 19 Muskegon (Mich.) CC and No. 24 Macomb (Mich.) CC.