Oct. 15, 2010
In what will be their last race before the Mid-American Conference Championships, the men’s and women’s cross country teams will face their toughest test of the year in Terre Haute (In.) this weekend at the 2010 Pre-National Invitational. The annual meet gives teams from across the country an opportunity to run on the same course used for the NCAA National Championships in November, as well as a chance to see how they stack up against each other before the championship part of the season begins. The 71 men’s teams and 79 women’s teams will be divided into two equal races (based on National and Regional rankings). Both Ohio teams will compete in the White Race, with the women running at 11:35 a.m. ET and the men toeing the line at 12:50 p.m. ET.
The Pre-National meet will mark the first time the Ohio women have bumped up to the 6,000-kilometer distance, which is the distance they will race for the remainder of their season. In what might be the most unique top-7 lineup of any team competing this weekend, the Bobcat women will run three fifth-year seniors (Annie Beecham, Kari Summers, and Abigail Swift) and four freshmen (Melissa Thompson, Allison Stillwell, Emily Pifer, and Juli Accurso). Awaiting them on the starting line will be eleven teams who are currently ranked in the top 37 in the most recent USTFCCCA (United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association) national poll, including No. 5 Georgetown, No. 9 Colorado, No. 12 Stony Brook, No. 19 Michigan, No. 17 Stanford, No. 23 NC State, No. 26 Minnesota, No. 27 Florida, No. 31 Harvard, No. 32 Toledo, No. 37 Arizona State. Ohio, who currently ranks 10th in the Great Lakes regional, will also square off against regional opponents Butler, Cincinnati, Indiana State, and Wisconsin. A total of 40 teams will run in the White race.
Although the Ohio men will compete against fewer total teams than the women (36), they will race against 13 schools who are ranked in the top 36 of the USTFCCCA national poll. No. 4 Colorado, No. 8 Portland, No. 13 NC State, and No. 28 Notre Dame are just a few of the many top-ranked teams the men will face in the 8,000-kilometer White race. The Bobcat men will also race against fellow MAC opponents Toledo and Central Michigan. After the team’s third place finish at the All-Ohio Championships, the men made their first appearance in the 2010 Great Lakes regional poll, listed as No. 14. Seniors Ridge Robinson and Scott Meyers, who are both coming off top-10 finishes at the All-Ohio Championships, will help set the pace for the Bobcat men. They will be joined by fellow senior Chris Davis, juniors Joey Cherico and Cory Irwin and sophomores Noah Howkins and Tyler Ames.
Both the men and women will compete five additional runners each in the open races later in the afternoon.
You can catch the Bobcats and watch all six races live at http://www.flotrack.org/.
Women’s 6k Blue Race – 11:00 a.m. ET
Women’s 6k White Race – 11:35 a.m. ET
Men’s 8k Blue Race – 12:10 p.m. ET
Men’s 8k White Race – 12:50 p.m. ET
Women’s 6k Open Race – 1:30 p.m. ET
Men’s 8k Open Race – 2:05 p.m. ET