Friday, September 16, 2016

Looking towards the weekend ahead - Sep. 17

Looking towards the weekend ahead, what might be the most interesting meets of the weekend?

In the Northwest, I think the top meet (for me) is the Great Falls Invitational in Montana: Bozeman squares off against the bulk of the best in Montana (though unfortunately missing Billings Senior and possibly Glacier) for a preview of next week's Mountain West Classic showdown against the Spokane schools. Also of note should be the Northwest Classic on the Oregon State XC course, where we get to see Crater vs. Summit, Wilson, Lincoln and the best that Eugene has to offer, as well as Sundodger up in Washington where Central Valley (should win both sides) goes up against Rocky Mountain ID (#2 on both sides?) and Kamiakin WA.

Nationally, it is the first of several BIG weekends of action. Highlighting the schedule is Woodbridge Classic down in Southern California, where many of the top programs in the state race against several notable out-of-state programs: Southlake Carroll TX, Mountain Vista CO, Desert Vista AZ, Desert Hills UT and Palmer Ridge CO. That's a very flat/fast 3 mile course, and the times should be blazing fast as always. Elsewhere, the NXN-Southeast course is previewed by many teams at the Adidas XC Challenge in North Carolina. In the Heartland region, the biggest centrally-located meet unsurprisingly tends to bring together many of the best in the region at the Heartland Classic at held at Iowa State University. Also, a meet currently underway is the ever-impressive MSU Spartan Classic where the best of Michigan clash. This year's meet featured one of Ohio's stronger boys teams as well ( ***spoiler*** the Elite race results are already posted - some great individual efforts on both sides).

EDIT: Turns out the Great Falls Invitational changed their format this year.... for some reason, they ran four separate Tri-Meets instead of combining all the teams together. Not only that, but they separated all the top teams! Race 1 was Bozeman vs. Flathead/Billings West; Race 2 was Hellgate vs. Helena and Soda Springs ID; Race 3 was Sentinel vs. CMR/Capital; Race 4 was Big Sky, Butte, Great Falls and Cascade. Strange. Anyways, Bozeman beat down Flathead pretty handily in the first race. Timewise, Bozeman's boys total team time was about 10 seconds slower than Hellgate's last year. On the girls side, Bozeman's team times were about halfway between where Billings Senior and Hellgate were last year. Doesn't really say much, but that's about all I'll be taking away from that meet...


  1. The Great Falls Invitational moved back to Anaconda Hills, which is a much tougher course than was run last year. In 2013 the girls averaged 19:52 on that course and this year they averaged 19:09. I'd watch out for them.