Aug. 31, 2017
Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s and women’s cross country team will start the season off in Bloomington, Ind., on Saturday, Sept. 2nd. The women will run a 5k and the men will take on an 8k during the Indiana Opener.
Teams: Ohio State, Indiana, Illinois, Miami (OH), Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
Four of the teams attending the meet are ranked in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason poll. On the women’s side, No. 14 Wisconsin and No. 24 Minnesota will be in attendance, and representing the men’s ranked teams will be No. 7 Wisconsin along with No. 27 Illinois. In addition to the ranked teams there will be three teams competing that are receiving votes: Indiana (men and women) and Minnesota (men).
Women | 9:20 a.m. ET
Men |10:10 a.m. ET
Indiana Championship Cross Country Course
The rolling, wooded course is noted as optimal for competitors and spectators alike. The course has many inclines and many declines throughout. The Buckeyes will make return trip to the Indiana course for the conference meet in late October.
The outlook looks promising for the women’s team as 13 of their 16 runners return for the 2017 season. All five Buckeye runners that scored at the Big Ten Championships and NCAA Great Lakes Regional return for the Scarlet and Gray this season.
Leading the squad will be a trio of upperclassmen: Sarah Kanney, Emily Stoodley and Christine Frederick. At the two most important meets of 2016, Kanney, Stoodley and Frederick were the three highest Buckeye finishers. Kanney’s best performance of the year came at the Big Ten Championships where she placed 13th with a 6k time of 21:26.4 earning Second Team All-Big Ten honors.
The Ohio State men’s team has eight of their 14 runners coming back for the 2017 season. The unquestioned leader for the men’s team this year will be Evan Stifel. The Cincinnati, Ohio native has been the best Buckeye finisher for the last eight races he has competed in. Closing out the 2016 season as a junior, Stifel ran the fastest 10k of his career at the Great Lakes Regional with a time of 30:29.8 to place eighth.
Running along with Stifel will be six other seniors: Jake Mandel, Mitch Leitch, Patrick Kunkel, Anthony Johnson, Clayton Bowie and Kevin Blank. Luke Landis, entering his third year as a Buckeye, contributed heavily in the 2016 season as a sophomore; he scored in five of six meets last year including a season best second- place showing at the Queen City Invite.
After the season opener, the Buckeyes will return to action on Sept. 16 at the Commodore Classic (Nashville, Tenn.). Following the trip down south, the Scarlet and Gray will attend the Joe Piane Invite in South Bend, Ind., on Sept. 29.
The final regular season meet of the year will be Pre Nationals, which will be held in Louisville, Ky., at Tom Sawyer Park, the same location at the NCAA Championships.
The Big Ten Championships will be held at a familiar place for the Buckeyes as they will return to Bloomington for the conference meet on Oct. 29. Two weeks later, the Buckeyes will travel to Terre Haute, Ind., for the NCAA Great Lakes with hopes of earning a berth to the NCAA Championships.