For the state's five NCAA Division I schools, this weekend's meets conclude the regular season of races before the championship season starts in two weeks with the conference, followed by the regionals, and finally, the NCAA national championship meet in Terre Haute, Indiana on November 22nd.
The UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON gets things started Friday in Madison, Wisconsin, as they'll compete with 38 men's teams and 40 women's squads at the adidas Wisconsin Invitational at the Thomas Zimmer Championship course.
The men will get the racing underway at 9 am PT over an 8-k course, while the women race over a 6-k course at 9:45 am PT.
Folks who wish to watch the races unfold may visit media partner Flotrack.org (subscription required).
Entering Friday's meet, the UW women are ranked #14 in the USTFCCCA poll, and #25 in the men's poll. Each race has six of the country's top ten squads in the field.
The Washington women will run course veterans Maddie Meyers, Eleanor Fulton & Kaylee Flanagan, and will throw five newcomers--Megan Beauchene (left/photo by Paul Merca), Kelly Lawson, Jenna Sanders, Anastasia Kosykh and Anna Maxwell into the fire.
On the men's side, all seven men--Aaron Nelson, Meron Simon, Izaic Yorks, Blake Nelson, Tyler King, Sumner Goodwin and Jacob Smith--have experience on the Wisconsin course, with Aaron Nelson finishing fourth in last year's meet in a time of 23:26.
The home page of the adidas Wisconsin Invitational is available here, while the live link to results is available here.
Saturday, both WASHINGTON STATE and EASTERN WASHINGTON will send their squads to Terre Haute, Indiana for the Indiana State Pre National Invitational meet on the same Lavern Gibson course that hosts the national championship meet.
Action in the seeded Blue races get underway at 8 am PT with the women's 6k, and at 8:35 am PT the men's 8k commences. Flotrack will provide the webcast of the Pre-Nationals.
The Cougar mens' team last were in action on September 27th when they won the Stanford Invitational, edging out UC Santa Barbara and #5 Stanford. However, that victory did not convince the voters of the USTFCCCA national poll that WSU was one of the country's top 30 teams.
In that same meet, WSU senior Abby Regan won the women's individual title, running 20:31 for 6k, and passing UC Santa Barbara's Raquel Heffrin and Nike's Alexa Efraimson in the last half of the race.
The Cougs will be led by a trio of seniors--Drew Jordan, Lee George, and Richard Shroy on the men's side, while Regan and Ruby Roberts, who sat out both the Sundodger and the Stanford meets, is scheduled to race in Indiana.
Courtesy of wsucougars.com, here's a video interview with Abby Regan:
For Eastern, they'll be led by Chris Schroll and Vince Hamilton on the men's side, and Sarah Reiter and Katie Mahoney on the women's side.
Those Cougars and Eagles not making the trip to Indiana will race at the Inland Empire Classic in Lewiston, where they'll face Montana, Idaho, and GONZAGA, which is coming off a solid performance by their men's squad after finishing 13th at the Notre Dame Invitational two weeks ago.
The meet gets underway at 11 am with the women's 5k, followed by the men's 8k at 11:45 am.
SEATTLE UNIVERSITY will stay at home and host the Emerald City Open Saturday at Lower Woodland Park in Seattle, with Oregon State and Washington along with Seattle Pacific and several local club teams providing the opposition.
Races get underway at 10:30 am with the women's 6k, and the men's 8k at 11:15 am.
For the Redhawks, Saturday’s race begins the qualification process for the Western Athletic Conference Championships, held in Edinburg, Texas, on November 1st. The top five SeattleU finishers at the Emerald City Open will become part of the travel squad for the WAC Championships and will not have to compete at next week’s Beaver Classic. The rest of the team will travel to Corvallis next Friday, with the chance to earn one of the final four spots on the team that will represent SeattleU at the conference meet.
NOTE: The sports information offices of the University of Washington, Washington State, Eastern Washington, Gonzaga, and Seattle University contributed to this report.