Oct. 13, 2011
MADISON, Wis. - The Stanford cross-country teams are set for its biggest weekend of the regular season as both teams will send squads to the Wisconsin adidas Invitational and the Bronco Invitational hosted by Santa Clara. The Wisconsin Invitational is Friday, Oct. 14, while the Bronco Invitational in Saturday, Oct. 15.
The adidas Wisconsin Invitational is expected to be the most competitive regular season meet of the year. Many of the top teams will be competing in Wisconsin this year, instead of Pre-Nationals, which is Sunday in Terre Haute.
The women will be up first, running the 6K course at 11am, PT. The Cardinal will be one of 19 ranked teams in the field, including one of seven ranked in the top 10.
No. 1 and defending national champion Villanova will lead the way, but No. 2 Providence, No. 6 Stanford, No. 7 New Mexico, No. 8 Syracuse, No. 9 Iowa State and No. 10 California will all be in the mix.
Also competing is No. 13 North Carolina, No. 14 Arizona, No. 15 Michigan State, No. 21 Minnesota, No. 22 Florida, No. 23 Iowa, No. 25 Notre Dame, No. 24 Washington, No. 27 BYU, No. 28 Princeton and No. 30 Clemson.
Stanford's top individual hope is 2010 Pac-10 runner-up Kathy Kroeger, but she will face the 2010 Pac-10 Champion Jordan Hasay. The race favorite is probably the defending individual national champion, Sheila Reid of Villanova.
On the men's side, Stanford is one of 20 ranked teams that will compete in the men's 8K at 11:40am, PT. The host Badgers enter the meet with the top ranking in the field at No. 2, but the No. 4 Cardinal are not far behind.
"It's going to be a really competitive meet," said associate cross country coach Jason Dunn. "We would certainly like to be in a position to win, but it's still early and we are still getting better."
I addition to Wisconsin and Stanford, No. 6 BYU, No. 7 Indiana, No. 9 NC State and No. 10 Oregon are all ranked in the top 10. The other ranked teams are No. 13 Northern Arizona, No. 14 Princeton, No. 16 Georgetown, No. 17 Minnesota, No. 19 Villanova, No. 21 Syracuse, No. 22 UCLA, No. 23 Arizona State, No. 24 Providence, No. 25 New Mexico, No. 26 Michigan, No. 27 Texas A&M, No. 28 Florida and No. 29 North Carolina.
Individually, Chris Derrick
and Jacob Riley
should contend for the title, but will receive plenty of steep competition. Lawi Lelang of Arizona, Miles Batty of BYU, Diego Estrada of Northern Arizona and others will challenge the Cardinal duo.
Back in California, Stanford will also send teams to the Bronco Invitational. The annual meet hosted by Santa Clara is run at Baylands Park in Sunnyvale. The Cardinal will also send highly competitive groups to compete in the local meet run on Saturday. The Women's Invitational will be at 9:45am, while the Men's Invitational will be at 10:30am.
This weekend will go a long way to deciding the national ranking heading into championship season. Both Cardinal teams will have a great opportunity to beat highly ranked teams and secure `points' that might be necessary depending on whether or not Stanford earns an auto berth to the NCAA Championships at the Regional Meet.
Stanford will not compete again until the Pac-12 Championships on October 29 in Tempe, Ariz.