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1,600 Runners to Compete in Cross County Pre-Nationals Oct. 17 in Louisville

UofL and Louisville Sports Commission to Host Collegiate Event at Sawyer State Park

October 14, 2015 – Louisville, Ky. – The University of Louisville and the Louisville Sports Commission will host 1,600 collegiate runners from 95 schools across the US at the NCAA Division I Pre-Nationals Cross Country (Pre-Nats) meet on Saturday, Oct. 17 at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park. The meet is a preview of the upcoming NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Cross Country National Championships that will be held in Louisville on Nov. 21. The Pre-Nats provide an opportunity for highly ranked squads hoping to compete for the top-four podium honors at the national championships in November to become familiar with the course at Sawyer State Park. The Pre-Nats also will feature a number of individuals hoping to earn All-America honors in 2015.

The Pre-Nats features six races, three for men and three for women: two seeded races to start the meet, followed by two unseeded races and two open races, all of which will feature top competition from around the nation. The men’s races will be 8,000 meters, and the women’s races will be 6,000 meters.

The men’s seeded race features 11 teams ranked in the latest National Coaches Poll, and four teams receiving votes in the poll. Three of the 11 teams are ranked in the Top 10 – defending national champion and top-ranked Colorado, along with third-ranked Oregon and 10th-ranked Georgetown. The host Louisville Cardinals, ranked 17th, will also run in the men’s seeded race, which is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.

The women’s seeded race features eight teams ranked in the latest Nation Coaches Poll, and five teams receiving votes in the poll. Five of the eight teams are ranked in the Top 10 of the latest poll, including second-ranked Colorado, along with fourth-ranked Oregon, fifth-ranked Michigan, seventh-ranked Georgetown and eighth-ranked Stanford. The women’s seeded race is scheduled to begin at 10:15 a.m.

Individually, the men’s race shapes up as a battle of all-stars with Oregon’s Edward Cheserek, 2014 NCAA cross country champion; Notre Dame’s Anthony Rotich, 2015 NCAA 3,000 meter steeplechase national champion; and the All-American trio of Ben Saarel, Pierce Murphy and Morgan Pearson from the University of Colorado. Other tops contenders are Purdue’s Matt McClintock; and Louisville’s Edwin Kibichiy, runner up in the 2015 Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic.

Five top female Division I runners who should contend for individual honors are Stanford’s Aisling Cuffe, recent winner of the 2015 Washington Invitational; Michigan’s Erin Finn, winner of the 2015 Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic; Colorado’s Erin Clark, winner of the 2015 Rocky Mountain Invitational; Cal-Beckley’s Bethan Knights, All-Pac 12 performer and 2015 Griak Invitational champion; Oregon’s Alli Cash; and Tennessee’s Chelsea Blaase, 2015 Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic Blue race champion.

The men’s unseeded race will begin at 10:45 a.m. and the women’s unseeded race will begin at 11:30 a.m. Additional open races were added due to the number of teams registered. The men’s open race will begin at noon followed by the women’s open race at 12:45 p.m. The schedule of Saturday’s races:

  • 9:30 a.m.         Men’s 8,000 Meter Red Race (seeded)
  • 10:15 a.m.       Women’s 6,000 Meter Red Race (seeded)
  • 10:45 a.m.       Men’s 8,000 Meter Black Race (unseeded)
  • 11:30 a.m.       Women’s 6,000 Meter Black Race (unseeded)
  • 12:00 p.m.       Men’s 8,000 Meter Open Race
  • 12:45 p.m.       Women’s 6,000 Meter Open Race

Results for each race can be found at www.pttiming.com and on the official website of Louisville athletics at www.gocards.com.