Thursday, October 15, 2015

Huskies off to Wisconsin; Cougs and Eagle women to Pre-Nationals, while rest compete close to home...

All five of Washington’s Division I schools are in action this weekend as they run in the final regular season meet of the year before heading into the championship portion of the season.

The Washington Huskies head off to Madison, Wisconsin for Friday’s adidas Wisconsin Invitational, where, on the women’s side, the #10 ranked Huskies will face 19 other (count that correctly!) nationally ranked teams, led by current #1 New Mexico, #3 Providence, #6 Boise State, #8 Iowa State, AND every team from #11 Arkansas to #25 Princeton.

And, oh, by the way, the defending national champions from Michigan State are ranked #13.

Charlotte Prouse & Maddie Meyers of Washington
(photo courtesy University of Washington)
The Huskies will go into battle led by their All-American Maddie Meyers, who has been their #1 runner this season in every meet where she’s worn a Washington singlet, along with their outstanding freshman Charlotte Prouse.

Meyers is listed in the USTFCCCA preview of the meet as one of about 25 contenders for the individual title, though the spotlight shines on New Mexico’s Rhona Aukland & Courtney Frerichs, Arkansas’ Dominique Scott, NC State’s Ryen Frazier, Boise State’s Allie Ostrander, Notre Dame’s Anna Rohrer, and Wisconsin’s Sarah Disanza and Shaelyn Sorensen.

Meyers was 40th in last year’s race, while the team finished 13th.

The women’s 6k race is scheduled for 9am, pacific, with the men following 45 minutes later over an 8k distance.

The men, on the other hand, who are out of the national top-30, will need to have a strong showing at Wisconsin, coupled with strong finishes at the Pac-12s and the NCAA regionals, if they are to be in the mix to get back to the national championship meet as an at-large team in the uber-competitive West Region.

They’ll be led by Sundodger champ Izaic Yorks, who has been their top runner in every meet he’s worn a UW singlet, along with All-American Tyler King.  Yorks was 57th at Wisconsin, while King was 65th last year.  Washington was eighth in this meet in 2014.

Washington will face 17 teams ranked in the USTFCCCA national poll, including 7 of the nation’s top 11 squads.

The Huskies will see their old friend Meron Simon, who graduated this summer and elected to use his remaining eligibility at North Carolina State. Simon, a native of Federal Way, was fourth at the Notre Dame Invitational two weeks ago.

They’ll also see Wisconsin’s Joe Hardy, a graduate of Seattle Prep.  Hardy was 37th in this meet last year.

Meanwhile, Washington State and the Eastern Washington women’s team are off to Louisville for Saturday’s Pre-Nationals meet on the EP “Tom” Sawyer Park course that will host the NCAA championships on November 21st.

For the Eastern Washington women, this meet will go a long way towards determining whether or not they have a realistic shot at getting out of the West region as an at-large team.

They’ll face eight nationally ranked women’s teams, led by #2 Colorado, #4 Oregon, and #9 Stanford, with both the Eagles and the Cougars seeing the Ducks and Cardinal two weeks ago in Seattle at the Washington Invitational.  The Eags will be led by defending Big Sky cross country champ Sarah Reiter from Renton.

They will need to close the gap between their #2 and #5 runners, which was 32 seconds two weeks ago at the Washington Invitational.

This is also a key meet for the WSU men’s team, which also has eyes on a return trip to Louisville as an at-large qualifier. The Cougs won the Sundodger meet for the second year in a row, but were eighth at the Washington Invitational, led by John Whelan’s 13th place finish.

Both Gonzaga squads, plus those athletes from Washington State and Eastern Washington not traveling to Louisville, will run Saturday at the Inland Empire Classic in Lewiston, Idaho.  The meet gets underway at 11 am with the women’s 6k, and the men’s 8k at 11:45.

Seattle University hosts the Emerald City Open meet at Lower Woodland Park on Saturday, with the women’s 6k starting at 10:30, and the men’s 8k at 11:15.

Teams scheduled to compete include Portland State, Central Washington , Portland, Club Northwest, plus a few Washington runners not making the trip to Wisconsin, plus some redshirts.

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