Press Release from the Louisville Sports Commission
The Louisville Sports Commission (LSC) will host over 100 colleges and universities from 26 states in the 17th Annual Louisville Cross Country Classic , which is tracking once again to be one of the largest college meet contested in the United States in 2018. The Classic, contested on Saturday September 29, will bring together many top college cross country programs in the nation, as almost 2,500 college athletes are expected to compete at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park. The Classic will feature large number of teams competing in six separate races. The over-all quality of the competing teams and individual student-athletes will again be one of the strongest fields during the regular college season this year. The field will be comprised of 35 men's teams and 32 women's teams that are currently ranked in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Div- I Regional & National, NCAA Div. II National and NCAA Div. III National Cross Country Polls this season.
The men's race will likely feature a clash between Campbell University (NC), currently ranked #12 National Coaches Poll and Conference USA power Middle Tennessee State, currently ranked #19 in National Coaches Poll. Rice University (TX), currently ranked #4 in South Central Regional Coaches Poll, the Colonels of Eastern Kentucky University, ranked #7 in Southeast Regional Coaches Poll, University of Kentucky, ranked #9 in Southeast Regional Coaches Poll and University of Louisville , ranked #13 in Southeast Regional Coaches Poll, should all be in contention for top three team finish as the race develops behind the top two teams.
Individually, the men's race should be one of best early season matchups of All-American student-athletes in the country. The lead pack should include Middle Tennessee's duo of Jacob Choge (10,000m/5,000m PR's of 28:42.31 / 13:39.90) and Kigen Chemadi (23rd in 2017 NCAA DI cross country championship), Campbell's pair of all-american's Lawrence Kipkoech (10,000m/5,000m PR's of 28:48.26 / 13:41.17 + 9th at 2017 XC DI Nationals) and Amon Kemboi (10,000m/5,000m PR's of 28:55.46 / 13:37.48 + 29th at 2017 XC DI Nationals) and the up and comer out of Detroit Mercy Ben Kendell (coming his win at the National Catholic Meet)
The women's race should feature Big 10 power University of Michigan), currently ranked #10 in the National Coaches Poll. The following teams are expected to contend for a Top 3 finish, SEC power Mississippi State University ranked #4 in South Regional Coaches Poll, Southern Methodist University (TX) ranked #3 in South Central Regional Coaches Poll, Eastern Kentucky University, ranked #9 in Southeast Regional Coaches Poll, University of Kentucky, ranked #12 in Southeast Regional Coaches Poll and the University of Louisville, ranked #14 in Southeast Regional Coaches Poll.
The women's individual race should be a matchup of some of the top collegiate runners in the United States. Expected to lead the way is Louisville's all-American Dorcas Wasike (2018 NCAA DI national runner-up 10K with10,000m/5,000m PR's of 32:11.11 / 16:03.95). Others that should be a part of the lead pack Saturday Wofford's Hannah Steelman (w/ 3,000m steeple PR 9:59.94 & 5,000m PR 16:09.94), the Michigan trio of Haley Meier (5,000m PR 16:07.20) Hannah Meier (1500m PR 4:22.56) Claire Borchers (3,000m PR 9:21.90), the speedster out of NCAA DIII Centre College Annie Rodenfels (NCAA DIII steeple national champion). and NAIA's Point Park Anna Shields (NAIA national champion, PR's of 4:37.30 Mile and 5,000m 16:28.09).
Again this year, there will be very competitive high school and middle school races contested after the college event is completed. There will also be elementary school races contested at the park Friday starting at 5:30 pm. It is expected that just under 4,000 young athletes from Kentucky, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Mississippi, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Ohio high schools will be competing Saturday afternoon with the first race at 1:30 pm.
COLLEGE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Saturday, September 29, 2018
Men's Gold race 9:30 am
Women's Gold race 10:15 am
Men's Blue race 10:45 am
Women's Blue race 11:30 am
Men's Silver race 12:00 pm
Women's Silver race 12:45 pm
High School events start at 1:30 pm
E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park