The Cougars have not competed since September 3rd when they were swept by Washington in the season opening dual meet in Ephrata.
Washington State coach Pete Julian said on his podcast, that he expects to run a full squad in both races, though he may hold out Andrew Kimpel (left/photo by Paul Merca), who was a member of Team USA at last spring's IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Gonzaga is coming off a fourth place finish in last Saturday's Sundodger Invitational, while Whitworth, ranked #19 in both the men's and women's Division III polls, won the men's open section and finished third in the women's open section at Sundodger.
After skipping last week's Sundodger, the #6 ranked men's squad and the #7 ranked women's team from Western Washington return to action Saturday at the Saint Martin's Invitational in Lacey, where they'll face Seattle Pacific, and host Saint Martin's.
Meanwhile, junior Erik Barkhaus and freshman Cara Talty from Seattle University were selected as Great West Conference runners of the week for last week's performances at the Sundodger, where Barkhaus finished 23rd in 24:58 in the 8k race, and Talty was 25th in the 6k women's race.
SeattleU returns to action October 2nd when they host the Emerald City Open at Lower Woodland Park.
On the professional circuit, WSU hall of famer Bernard Lagat closes out his 2010 campaign back where it started in January, as he competes in the Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue Mile in New York on Sunday.
Lagat, who opened his season back in late January by winning the Millrose Games Mile in New York's Madison Square Garden, races against fellow Olympians Leonel Manzano, Nick Willis, and defending champion Andy Baddeley, as well as American mile record-holder Alan Webb.
This year, all heats will be broadcast live on nyrr.org via Livestream.com, starting at 9:00 a.m. and continuing through the professional races at 12:50 and 1:05 p.m.
In one other pro note, paulmerca.blogspot.com received an email from former University of Washington pole vaulter Carly Dockendorf reinforcing her intent to compete in next month's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India for her native Canada.
The Commonwealth Games have been plagued by a series of miscues over the last several weeks, including a collapse of the stadium footbridge, unlivable conditions in the athlete village, security breaches, and shoddy construction work at various venue, all of which has several teams and individuals thinking twice before committing.
In the last few weeks, numerous athletes selected for the Commonwealth Games have opted to withdraw from the competition, including 2009 IAAF world discus champ Dani Samuels of Australia.
NOTE: The sports information offices of Washington State, Gonzaga, Western Washington, SeattleU, and Seattle Pacific contributed to this report.