The Country’s Largest Collegiate Cross Country Meet in Louisville This Saturday
Louisville, KY- The Louisville Sports Commission (LSC) will host 115 colleges and universities from 24 states in the 11th Annual Greater Louisville Classic (GLC), which for the first time in the 11 year history should be the largest college meet contested in the United States in 2012. The Classic, run Saturday September 29th, will bring together some of the top college cross country programs in the nation, as over 2,400 athletes are expected to compete at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park. The event will not only feature immense quantity, but the overall quality of the competing teams will be the best ever in the events history. The field will be comprised of 35 men's teams and 41 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.
In the men's race, the University of Texas (currently ranked #6 in the NCAA D-I National Coaches Poll and #1 in the South Central Region) should face a strong challenge by perennial NCAA D-I power and defending 2011 MAAC champ Iona College (NY), currently ranked #8 D-I National Poll and #1 in the Northeast Region. The next group of teams expecting to vie for top 5 team honors should be perennial Ivy League power Columbia University (NY), currently ranked #28 D-I National Poll and #1 in the Northeast Region, University of Georgia, #2 in the South Region, University of Arizona, currently ranked #5 in the always strong West Region, Big 10 power Penn State University (PA), currently ranked #4 in the Mid-Atlantic Region and home standing University of Louisville currently ranked #6 in the Southeast Region.
Other teams to watch will be Big-10 Conference member Michigan State University, D-II powers Grand Valley State University (MI) and Southern Indiana University.
Individually, the men’s race shapes up as a battle of the best three college runners in the country. Leading the way should be University of Arizona tandem of Lawi Lalang (defending NCAA 2011 national cross country champion), Stephen Sambu (NCAA national cross country championship runner-up in 2010) and University of North Carolina- Greensboro’s standout Paul Chelimo (2012 NCAA Track & Field 5,000m national runner-up).
The women’s race showcases the best team in the country the University of Washington (currently ranked #1 in the nation in NCAA D-I National Coaches Poll) and the Huskies will be racing the GLC for the first time and will go off as the race favorite. Following the Pac 12 power, vying for top five team finishes, should be Vanderbilt University (TN), out of the Southeastern Conference, currently ranked #8 D-I National Poll and #2 in the South Region, University of Arkansas, ranked #10 in D-I National Poll and #1 in the South Central Region, University of Arizona, ranked #12 D-I National Poll and #4 in the very strong West Region and Big 10 powers Michigan State University, ranked #14 D-I National Poll and #2 in the Great Lakes Region, Penn State University (PA), ranked #17 D-I National Poll and #3 in the Mid-Atlantic Region, and University of Wisconsin, ranked #29 D-I National Poll and #6 in the Great Lakes Region.
The women's individual race should be an evenly matched affair between some of the top collegiate runners in the United States. Expected to contend for top 5 placing Saturday should be University of Washington teammates Katie Flood (7th place finisher NCAA 2011 XC championships) and Megan Goethals, (2012 NCAA Track & Field 5,000m national runner-up), the pair from University of Arizona Jennifer Bergman (26th place finisher NCAA 2011 XC championships) and Elvin Kibet (7th place finisher NCAA 2012 Track & Field 10k championships), and Louisville, KY native Liz Anderson out of Vanderbilt University.
Again this year, there will be very competitive high school and middle school races contested after the college event is completed. It is expected that over 2,200 young athletes from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio high schools will be competing Saturday afternoon with the first race at 1:15 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, September 29, 2012
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 12:30 pm
E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park