Top Cross Country Runners Face Huge Competition At Pre-NCAA Invitational
Oct. 10, 2001
THIS WEEK: Washington State University's top runners head to Greenville, S.C. for the Pre-NCAA Cross Country Invitational. With over 50 schools competing at the meet, the competition will be divided into two, evenly matched races on both the men's and women's sides. Slating for each of the races will not be determined until later this week. The women's 6k races will begin at 10:45 a.m. and 11:20 a.m. EDT. The Cougar women will face significant competition in top-ranked Colorado, the defending national champions, second-ranked Stanford, third-ranked North Carolina State, and Arizona State and Brigham Young, both currently tied for fourth place in the National Cross Country Association Poll. Other Pac-10 schools represented are Arizona, Oregon and Washington.
The two men's 8k races will take place at 11:55 a.m. EDT and 12:35 p.m. EDT. The Cougar men will be presented with a challenge by Colorado, also ranked number one in the men's poll, second-ranked Stanford, fifth-ranked Notre Dame and eighth-ranked Northern Arizona.
'Again, we are trying to get some good experience against teams from outside of our region,' WSU Head Coach James Li said. 'This type of significant competition greatly enhances our ability to compete in championship meets.'
WSU WOMEN: The same squad that ran for WSU in its last meet two weeks ago, the Roy Griak invitational, will again represent the Cougars in South Carolina. Seniors Ryan Gilmore, Jenny Filipy, April Gagner, juniors Everlyne Lagat, Anna Blue, and freshmen Molly Bull and Julia Corbett face their largest and strongest competition of the year at the Pre-NCAA meet. In the Roy Griak Invite, Everlyne Lagat continued to look impressive for the Cougars, placing eighth in a field of over 300 runners. In the meet, the Cougar women took 24th overall out of 32 teams.
WSU MEN: The Cougar men looked impressive, winning their first two meets of the year, then battling significant competition at the Roy Griak Invitational to place 21st in a 36 team field. At the Pre-NCAA meet, Washington State will be represented by seniors Oscar Franco-Parra, Jon Welsh, Scott Johnson, juniors Kyle Barker, Mark Wicklander, sophomore Ian Johnson and freshman Mike Heidt. Ian Johnson, a native of Spokane, Wash., has been the team's top finisher in each of its three meets this year, placing 25th in the field of over 300 runners at the Roy Griak Invite.
EASTERN WASHINGTON INVITATIONAL: WSU is also sending a men's and women's team to the Eastern Washington University Invitatonal in Cheney, Wash., Saturday. The meet takes place at the Fairways Golf Course, with the men running an 8k course at 10 a.m. and the women's 5k at 10:45 a.m.
NEXT WEEK: The Cougars have a weekend without competition to prepare for the Pacific-10 Conference Championships Saturday, October 27 in Gilbert, Ariz.