Buffs Head To Pre-Nationals

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BOULDER — The weather is turning colder but the University of Colorado men’s and women’s cross country teams are looking to heat up their seasons at the NCAA Pre-National Invitational on Saturday, October 17, in Terre Haute, Ind.

The invite is the first big meet of the season for Colorado. The Buffs have competed in three meets this year, including two home meets. Competition at this contest will be tough as there are 18 ranked men’s teams and 19 ranked women’s teams in the mix. The Buffaloes are two of those ranked teams. The men are tied for fourth and the women are ranked No. 19 in the most recent USTFCCCA Coaches Top 30 Poll.

The men will start off the meet for CU by running in the 8-kilometer “white” race at 9:40 a.m. against No. 1 ranked Stanford, No. 6 BYU and No. 8 Portland. There are three other top-30 teams in the race. The women have been assigned to run in the 6k “blue” race that starts at 10:20 a.m. They will also run against six top-30 teams which include No. 4 Oregon, No. 6 Stanford and No. 7 Iowa State.

It’s no surprise to anyone that the women are lead by senior Jenny Barringer. Barringer has been the top racer for the Buffs since her sophomore season (2006) and was the NCAA runner-up in 2006 and 2007 before redshirting the 2008 season. Fellow senior Emily Hanenburg and junior Laura Thweatt, the reigning Big 12 Runner of the Week, will also take some of the leadership responsibility for the Buffs.

Kenyon Neuman won the men’s title at the Rocky Mountain Shootout and looks to have a great senior campaign for the Buffs. Neuman, along with senior Jordan Kyle will likely give CU a great 1-2 punch. Juniors Matt Tebo and Richard Medina have been scoring for the Buffs since their freshman year and will once again add a great deal of depth to the Buffalo line-up.

In total, the Buffs are allowed to put seven racers on the start line of the team races and will have some harriers competing in the open sections.

Indiana State hosts the meet for the sixth straight year and the seventh time in eight years. The invitational will take place at the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course and is a chance for teams to preview the NCAA Championship course, although the men will run a 10k course at nationals versus an 8k course on Saturday. There are four team races, two men’s and two women’s (blue and while) as well as an open race for each gender. Results will be posted upon the conclusion of each race at www.gosycamores.com.