The #3 ranked Washington women's cross country team faces its stiffest test Friday morning at the adidas Wisconsin Invitational at 10 am, pacific time.
The Huskies, the defending champs at Wisconsin, will face six top-10 nationally ranked teams, including #2 ranked Arizona, who beat the Dawgs two weeks ago in Louisville.
According to the Huskies' release, All American and reigning Pac-12 champ Katie Flood (left/photo by Paul Merca) will lead the team into battle, with Lindsay Flanagan, Justine Johnson, Kayla Evans, Liberty Miller, Joelle Amaral, and freshman Maddie Meyers running.
Washington will miss the services of All American Megan Goethals, and Eleanor Fulton.
The Washington men will run 40 minutes later on the 8-k course, and face 19 ranked teams slated to compete, led by six top-10 teams: No. 1 Wisconsin, No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 5 Iona, No.5 Portland, No. 8 Stanford, and #10 Syracuse.
The men will take ten runners, nearly all of who ran at the Dellinger Invitaitonal at Oregon two weeks back. The lone newcomer is sophomore Aaron Nelson, who had a great Sundodger race but then sat out the Oregon trip. Senior Joey Bywater is coming off a top-10 finish in Oregon and was 46th at this race a year ago. Nelson, Gareth Gilna, Rob Webster Jr., and Michael Miller all ran the Zimmer course a year ago as well and will look to use that experience to their advantage.
Meanwhile, Washington State, Gonzaga, and Eastern Washington square off Saturday at the Inland Empire Classic in Lewiston, Idaho.
The women's 5,000m race begins at 10:30 a.m. and the men's 8,000m race is set for 11:15 a.m.
The women's six-kilometer race, three loops of the two-kilometer course, will start at 10:30 a.m. The men will make four loops of the course in their eight-kilometer event, scheduled to start at 11:15 a.m.
For all five Washington NCAA Division I schools, this is the final major test before the conference championship meets--PAC 12 for UW & WSU; Big Sky for Eastern Washington; West Coast Conference for Gonzaga; and Western Athletic Conference for SeattleU.
NOTE: The sports information offices of the University of Washington, Washington State, and Seattle University contributed to this report.