Thursday, August 29, 2013

All five Washington D1 schools open cross country season Friday and Saturday...

The start of last year's SeattleU/UW non-scoring meet
at Magnuson Park (photo by Paul Merca)

SEATTLE--The 2013 collegiate cross country season begins Friday for two of Washington's five NCAA Division I schools, as Seattle University will run in a non-scoring meet with the University of Washington at 4pm at Magnuson Park.

The women will run 3 miles, while the men's race will be contested over a 4.5 mile distance.

Coach Trish Steidl's Redhawks, who have been together as a team for almost two weeks so far, will have to overcome the loss of last year's WAC champ Erik Barkhaus, and Matthew McClement, both of whom graduated, plus the fact that Steidl plans to redshirt Collin Overbay.

Nonetheless, Steidl expects a wide-open competition for spots on her men's squad.

“If everybody does what they are capable of doing and continues to build while staying healthy, we have a shot of doing something really good this season. There are guys who should be in the top seven, but most of them are fairly close together. I like that those spots are up for grabs, because it keeps everyone hungry. If they are being smart, doing the little things, taking care of themselves both in and out of practice, and then racing with heart and soul, someone can come on and take one of those top spots,” said Steidl.

On the women's side, SeattleU will have a trio of seniors leading the team, with Hannah Mittelstaedt, last year's conference champ in the steeple, along with Lauren Hammerle and Jennifer Stolle.

With the Redhawks hosting the WAC championship meet at Jefferson Park on November 2nd, Steidl expects the competition from within her women's team to be as intense for the seven spots on the championship meet roster.

The Redhawks will run everyone who is healthy Friday.

Across town, the Huskies assembled as a team for the first time on Tuesday, and will run everyone on their squad who is healthy, with some running out of uniform and unattached Friday.

After Friday's meet, the Dawgs will head to Seabrook Monday for their annual week-long training camp before they host the Sundodger Invitational on September 14th at Lincoln Park.

Across the state, the other three Division I schools--Eastern Washington, Gonzaga, and Washington State--will see each other Saturday at the Clash of the Inland Northwest meet at Mead HS outside of Spokane, with the men running 6k and the women 4k.

In addition, all three schools will see the University of Idaho, along with D3 schools Whitworth University and Whitman College.  Adding to the intrigue of the meet is the fact that there will be dual-meet scoring between the four D1 schools racing.

QUICK NOTES:  With the college football season also getting underway this weekend, the Daily Relay has a list of its preseason track football team.

The Daily Relay's Jesse Squire picked the team at each of the standard positions by their single best mark of the 2013 track season, as determined by the IAAF scoring tables, and only considered athletes who competed in NCAA track last season.

Eastern Washington's Cody Humphrey, a 53-9 3/4 (16.40m) shot putter for the Eagles, is on the squad as a tight end, as is the Huskies' Danny Shelton, a defensive lineman who doubles as a 53-1 1/2 (16.19m) shot putter.

NOTE: The sports information offices of SeattleU, University of Washington, Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, and Washington State contributed to this report.

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