Numerous Top 20 Teams and Individuals to Compete at One of Premiere Courses in US
Louisville, KY – September 30, 2014 – The Louisville Sports Commission (LSC) will host 125 college and university teams from 24 states and Canada in the 13th Annual Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic (GLCCC), presented by Primal Sport Mud, Saturday, on October 24, 2014, at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park. The GLCCC will bring together many of the nation’s top college cross country programs as more than 2,600 athletes will compete at what is expected to be the second largest college meet contested in the US in 2014. The field will include 24 men’s teams and 27 women’s teams from NCAA Division I, Division II and Division III, and NAIA that are ranked in the national collegiate cross country polls. The field also includes nine NCAA Division I programs that have won team national championships, most recently the Wisconsin Badger’s men’s team in 2011.
Located in a bucolic setting on the east side of Louisville, E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park boasts one of America’s few championship-level 10K, 8K and 5K cross country courses in an urban area with nearby hotels, restaurants and other amenities. The course has hosted championship cross country events as far back as the 1980s; recent and upcoming events include the 2003-2004-2005 NAIA national championships, 2010 and 2014 NCAA DII national championships, 2012-2015-2017 NCAA DI national championships, 2016 NCAA DIII national championships and scores of NCAA regional championships.
The 2014 GLCCC women’s top race will showcase three nationally ranked teams: University of Wisconsin, currently ranked number 16 in the USTFCCCA NCAA D-I National Coaches Poll; West Virginia, ranked number 21 in the D-I national poll; and Virginia Tech, ranked number 22 in the D-I national poll. Several other squads that should compete for top five finishes are: Eastern Kentucky, ranked number 5 in the NCAA D-I Southeast Region, SEC member Missouri, ranked number 4 in the Midwest Region; and Lipscomb University, ranked number 5 in the South Region.
The women’s individual race should be an evenly matched contest among several of the top US collegiate runners. Expected to contend for top five honors on Saturday should be 2013 GLCCC champion Ann Eason (5,000m PR 16:06) from Eastern Kentucky; University of Tennessee’s Chelsea Blaase (10,000m PR 33:13.94); Teghan Henderson (5,000m PR 16:13.03), of Tennessee-Chattanooga; Sarah Rapp (5,000m PR 16:07.28) of Virginia Tech; and Wisconsin’s trio of Sarah Disanza (5,000m PR 16:24.00), Emma- Lisa Murphy (5,000m PR 16:27.25) and Gabi Anzaone (5,000m PR 16:31.50).
The men’s races will showcase perennial national power Wisconsin, currently ranked number 11 in the USTFCCCA NCAA D-I National Coaches Poll; the Bargers will be favored to take home the GLCCC team title. The following teams likely will challenge for Top-5 honors: Louisville, currently ranked number 7 in the USTFCCCA D-I Southeast Region coaches poll: Atlantic Coast Conference power Virginia Tech, currently ranked number 6 in the NCAA D-I Southeast Region; Big 10 power Illinois, ranked number 6 in the NCAA D-I Midwest Region coaches poll, Ole Miss, ranked number 4 in the NCAA D-I South Region coaches poll; Middle Tennessee ranked number 5 in the NCAA D-I South Region coaches poll; and NCAA D-II power University of Southern Indiana, currently ranked number 6 in the NCAA D-II national poll.
Individually, the men’s race shapes up as a clash of top college runners from the Midwest and Southeast. The lead pack should include Wisconsin’s senior Michael Van Voorhis (5,000m PR of 13:57.07) and a crop of talented Badger newcomers; Middle Tennessee newcomer Geoffrey Cheruiyot (winner of 2014 Commodore Classic); University of Louisville’s duo of Edwin Kibichiy (3,000m Steeple PR 8:44.97) and Ernest Kibet (10,000m PR of 28:55.55), both coming off very strong performances two weeks ago at Vanderbilt; and Southern Indiana’s duet of Johnnie Guy (2013 D-II national top 10 performer) and Tyler Pence (10,000m PR of 29:47).
Again this year, there will be competitive high school and middle school races contested after the college events are completed. More than 1,800 prep athletes from Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, Missouri, Tennessee and Ohio will compete Saturday afternoon. The first race is slated for noon EDT.
COLLEGE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
- Saturday, October 5, 2014
- 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
- Boys High School Invite race 12:00 pm
- Girls High School Invite race 12:30 pm
- Men’s Silver race 1:00 pm
- Women’s Silver race 1:45 pm
- P. Tom Sawyer State Park