Once again the South’s Largest Collegiate Cross Country Meet in Louisville This Saturday
Louisville, KY- The Louisville Sports Commission (LSC) will host 97 colleges and universities from 20 states in the 9th Annual Greater Louisville Classic (GLC), which once again will be the largest college meet contested in the south. The Classic, run Saturday October 2nd, will bring together some of the top college cross country programs in the nation, as over 2,000 athletes are expected to compete at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park. The event will not only feature vast quantity, but the overall quality of the competing teams continues to improve with each year. The field includes 29 men's teams and 23 women's teams that are currently ranked in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Div- I Regional, NCAA Div. II National, NCAA Div. III National and National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Cross Country Polls this season. New this year, the 2010 NCAA Div. II National Championships will be contested in Louisville on December 4th and the GLC field has a very strong contingent of the very best NCAA Div. II cross country programs in the nation and they will be competing, in what some say, is the “D-II Pre-Nats” for the upcoming championships in December.
In the men's race, 2010 GLC team champion University of Louisville (currently ranked #7 in the Southeast Region) should face a strong challenge by perennial NCAA D-II power Colorado School of Mines, currently ranked #3 in the NCAA D-II National Coaches Poll and Ohio Valley Conference power Eastern Kentucky University ranked #6 in the Southeast Region. The next group of teams expecting to vie for top 5 team honors should be NCAA D-II powers Grand Valley State (MI), currently ranked #4 in the NCAA D-II Coaches Poll, University of Southern Indiana, currently ranked #7 in the NCAA D-II National Coaches Poll, Queens University, out of Charlotte (NC), currently ranked #8 in the NCAA D-II Coaches Poll. Other teams to watch will be Southeastern Conference members University of Georgia and University of Mississippi, currently ranked #5 & #6 in the South Region, Missouri Valley Conference school Southern Illinois University, currently ranked #9 in the very strong Midwest Region, and perennial Southern Conference contender Davidson College (NC), ranked #11 in the Southeast Region.
Individually, the men’s race shapes up as a battle of some of the best runners in the country. Leading the way should be University of Mississippi’s Barnabas Kirui (2007 NCAA national steeplechase champion and fourth place finisher at last year’s NCAA cross county nationals ), Michael Crouch of Queens University (2009 NCAA D-II outdoor national 1,500 champion) and Daniel Kirwa (NCAA D-II cross country national runner-up in 2009). University of Louisville teammates Matt Hughes (2010 NCAA D-I national steeplechase champion) and Michael Eaton (2008 D-I track all-american), both are running well this early season, should also contend for top 10 honors in the men’s race along with Eastern Kentucky University’s Bouchikhi Soufiane.
The women’s race should stack up as an evenly matched competition between several squads vying for the team title. Vanderbilt University, out of the Southeastern Conference, ranked #3 in the South Region, perennial NCAA D-II powers Grand Valley State University (MI) and Shippensburg University (PA), currently ranked #2 and #4 in D-II coaches poll and the University of Georgia, currently ranked #4 in the South Region should battle for top team honors.
The women's individual race showcases two of the finest collegiate distance runners in the nation. Neely Spence, the 2008 NCAA D-II national cross country runner-up and two-time national 5,000m national champion, from Shippensburg University will clash with Western Washington’s Sarah Porter, last fall’s NCAA D-II national cross country runner-up and the 2010 10,000m national runner-up as well. These two young ladies are also expected to be the two main contenders for the national individual cross country championship title in December. Expected to contend for top 5 placing Saturday will be Western Kentucky University’s Marion Kandie, University of Kentucky's Chelsea Oswald, University of Louisville's Kim Grieshaber and Eastern Kentucky University’s Picoty Leitich.
Again this year, there will be a very competitive high school and middle school races contested after the college event is completed. It is expected that over 1200 young athletes from Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and Ohio high schools will be competing Saturday afternoon with the first race at 2:30 pm.
For any further information please contact Troy Killian (502) 587-7767 or meet director David Lawhorn at (502) 330-1933
COLLEGE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Saturday, October 2nd, 2010
Men’s Gold race 9:30 am
Women’s Gold race 10:15 am
Men’s Blue race 11:00 am
Women’s Blue race 11:45 am
Men’s Silver race 12:30 pm
Women’s Silver race 1:15 pm
E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park