|Acton from the 2013 UW/Seattle University Open meet|
(photo by Paul Merca)
All five of Washington's Division I schools open the 2014 collegiate cross country season Friday and Saturday, with Seattle University and the University of Washington kicking things off at Magnuson Park at 4pm in a non-scoring meet.
The women will run 3 miles while the men's race will be contested over a 4.5 mile distance.
If past history is any indication, Washington will have their athletes run a controlled race, making the race a glorified workout, considering the team has been together for four days, with some runners on the squad competing out of uniform and unattached.
After Friday's race, Washington will leave town for its traditional pre-season training camp before returning to action on September 20th when they host the Sundodger Invitational at Lincoln Park.
Across the state, Gonzaga and Eastern Washington will co-host the Clash of the Inland Northwest meet at Mead HS in Spokane, where the men will race 6k at 10 am, and the women 4k at 10:30 am.
Besides Washington State and co-hosts Gonzaga and Eastern Washington, Idaho and Whitworth will have teams in the meet. There will be dual meet team scoring as an added element to the event.
This meet begins the Wayne Phipps era at Washington State, as the former Idaho head coach takes the reigns of the Cougar track and cross country programs after the retirement of Rick Sloan following the 2014 track season.