COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s and women’s cross country programs will start the 2021 campaign Friday at the Evansville Opener at Angel Mounds State Historic Site in Evansville, Ind.
The men’s race will be an 8K starting at 5 p.m. CT/6 p.m. ET, followed by the women’s 5K.
Evansville will also be the site of the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships Nov. 12, with the meet Friday allowing the Buckeyes an early season look at the course.
Joining the Buckeyes this week will be host Evansville, Brescia (Ky.), Indiana State, Kentucky Wesleyan, Marquette, Oakland City (Ind.) and Vincennes (Ind.).
In the Rankings
- The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced its preseason polls this week.
- The Buckeye women came in at No. 28 in the national coaches’ poll, one of seven Big Ten teams in the Top 30. Michigan State is No. 5, Minnesota No. 9, Michigan No. 11, Indiana No. 16, Illinois No. 17 and Wisconsin No. 29. The Buckeyes were not ranked in the final poll of last season and were No. 23 in the final rankings of 2019.
- In the Great Lakes Region rankings, the Buckeye women are No. 5 and the Buckeye men are No. 12.
- For Big Ten teams, the 2021 cross country season was comprised of just one race – the Big Ten Championships, held Jan. 30 in Shelbyville, Ind.
- The Ohio State women placed fifth, tying for the second-best finish in school history with a program record score of 110. Allie Guagenti led the way for the Buckeyes, coming in fifth and earning All-Big Ten honors. The other scorers for the Buckeyes were Andrea Kuhn, Addie Engel, Hannah Moulton and Daniella Santos, who are all back this season. Five of the other six Buckeyes who also raced at the Big Ten meet return this season – Annie Allen, Erica Francesconi, Akemi Von Scherr, Suzanne Stein and Ellie Weber.
- All eight men who ran at the 2021 Big Ten meet return – Zubin Jha, Ivan Slyepkan, John Cuozzo, Zach Shultz and Alex Dediu finished in the Ohio State Top 5 at Big Tens, with Nick Regas, Jacob Wickert and Mikey Zedan also back.
- The Buckeyes will travel to University Park, Pa., for the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational Sept. 10. Penn State is also the host site for the 2021 Big Ten Championships, slated for Oct. 29.