The Air Force cross country team returns to action this weekend, as it splits for a pair of long-standing meets. Select members of the squad will travel to South Bend, Ind., for the 62nd-annual Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational on Friday, Sept. 29, while the rest of the team heads to Boulder, Colo., for the 32nd-annual Rocky Mountain Shootout on Saturday, Sept. 30.
MEET INFORMATION: NOTRE DAME INVITATIONAL
The Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational will take place on Friday, Sept. 29, at the Burke Golf Course on the University of Notre Dame campus. The women's 5K race is slated to get underway at 1:00 p.m. (ET), while the men's five-mile race will follow at 1:45 p.m. Air Force is competing in the Blue Division, which includes seven nationally-ranked women's teams, five nationally-ranked men's teams and eight squads that are receiving votes in the nationally poll.
WHO TO WATCH...
Air Force will send 10 men (Jacob Bilvado, Mickey Davey, Andrew Johnston, Andrew Milliron, Noah Riley, Jimmy Shipley, Trevor Siniscalchi, Patrick Sullivan, Andrew Tankersley, Nathan Thomas) and eight women (Lindsey Blanks, Teri Brady, Katie Burnham, Shanna Burns, Carina Gillespie, Maria Mettler, Mahala Norris, Jaci Smith) to the Notre Dame Invitational.
SCOUTING THE WOMEN'S FIELD
The women's Blue Race features two of the top-three squads in the country, as top-ranked Colorado and No. 3 New Mexico headline the 20-team race. The lineup also includes nationally-ranked programs from NC State (7), Arkansas (9), Notre Dame (12), Ohio State (26) and Utah (27), three teams receiving votes in the national poll (Air Force, Baylor, Eastern Michigan) and squads from Alabama, California, Florida State, Pittsburgh, Texas, TCU, Tulane, UTEP, Washington State and Weber State.
SCOUTING THE MEN'S LINEUP
The 21-team field for the men's Blue Race includes nationally-ranked programs from Colorado (4), Washington State (11), Southern Utah (13), Eastern Michigan (29) and NC State (30), as well as five teams receiving votes in the national rankings (Air Force, California, Eastern Kentucky, Michigan, Texas) and squads from Alabama, Baylor, Butler, Florida State, Iowa, New Mexico, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, UTEP and Weber State.
MEET INFORMATION: ROCKY MOUNTAIN SHOOTOUT
The 32nd-annual Rocky Mountain Shootout will take place on Saturday, Sept. 30, at the Buffalo Ranch Cross Country Course in Boulder. The women will kick off the day with a 5.8K race at 9:00 a.m., while the men will follow with an 8K race at 9:45 a.m. Colorado, ranked first in the women's rankings and fourth in the men's poll, will host Division I teams from Air Force, Colorado State (M: 15th) and Northern Colorado, as well as several local non-DI collegiate teams and club programs.
WHO TO WATCH...
The Falcons will send 15 men (Jordan Armstrong, Andrew Boebinger, Hunter Boyer, Nic Cheuvront, Colin Dwyer, Scott Johnson, Drew Lester, Alec Schrank, Konrad Steck, Joe Way, Justin Weber, Conner Wilburn, Marshall Wheeler, Trevor Whiteside, Josh Wojciechowski) and four women (Sarah Bodmer, Swathi Samuel, Alexis Sherwin, Shay Stayton) to Boulder.
The men have finished second to top-five teams from Colorado during each of the last four Rocky Mountain Shootouts, while collecting a total of eight runner-up finishes in the last 15 years (2002 tie, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016). The women, who do not usually send a full squad of runners to the annual meet in Boulder, finished second in the team standings at the 2008 meet.
DAY IN THE LIFE
Check out the PDF version of the weekly notes for a "Day in the Life" feature on sophomore Swathi Samuel.
FALCONS CONTINUE TO RECEIVE VOTES IN NATIONAL COACHES' POLL
Both Air Force squads are receiving votes in the latest USTFCCCA national rankings -- marking the fourth time in as many weeks that both teams have earned a mention this season. The men (six points) are listed 35th in the overall standings, while the women (three points) are listed 39th in their rankings. The women have now been listed in the national standings during the last seven polling periods, dating back to last season, while the men have been mentioned six times in the last seven polls.
THE NEXT COURSE
Air Force is off from competition until Friday, Oct. 13, when they travel to Madison, Wis., for the annual ninth-annual Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational at Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course.