The Air Force cross country team, which features the 23rd-ranked men’s squad, travels to Madison, Wis., this week to take on some of the nation’s elite at the ninth-annual Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational. The meet, which includes 20 of the Top-30 men’s teams and 16 of the Top-30 women’s programs, will be held on Friday, Oct. 13, at Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course.
The ninth-annual Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational, presented by Under Armour, will take place on Friday, Oct. 13, at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course in Madison. While the day begins with “B” Races at 11:00 a.m. (CT), the Championship events are scheduled for 12:20 p.m. (women’s 6K) and 1:00 p.m. (men’s 8K). A link to live results can be found on the Falcons’ schedule page, while FloTrack will be streaming the meet.
WHO TO WATCH...
Air Force will send 15 runners to the Nuttycombe Invitational. Lindsey Blanks, Teri Brady, Katie Burnham, Shanna Burns, Carina Gillespie, Mahala Norris and Jaci Smith will compete in the women’s 6K race, while Jacob Bilvado, Mickey Davey, Andrew Johnston, Andrew Milliron, Noah Riley, Jimmy Shipley, Patrick Sullivan and Andrew Tankersley will run in the men’s 8K event.
SCOUTING THE WOMEN’S FIELD
A total of 33 women’s teams are scheduled to compete at the Nuttycombe Invitational, including half of the nation’s Top 10 – New Mexico (3), Stanford (5), San Francisco (6), North Carolina State (7) and Providence (8) – and Top-30 squads from Washington (11), Boise State (13), Indiana (14), Wisconsin (17) Iowa State (18), Minnesota (20), Furman (21), Georgetown (22 tie), Utah (22 tie), Yale (27) and Virginia (28). The field also includes nine teams that are receiving votes in the latest USTFCCCA Coaches’ Poll – Air Force, Baylor, California, Columbia, Eastern Michigan, Florida State, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Vanderbilt – while teams from Colorado State, Harvard, Kentucky, Penn, Purdue, Syracuse, Tulsa and UCLA will also compete.
SCOUTING THE MEN’S LINEUP
The 35-team men’s race will feature 20 of the Top-30 programs in the nation, as well as eight that are receiving votes in the latest USTFCCCA Coaches’ Poll. Top-ranked Northern Arizona will highlight a nationally-recognized field that includes Syracuse (3), Stanford (4), Southern Utah (6), Furman (10), Colorado State (11), Iona (13), Iowa State (14), Boise State (15), Illinois (16), Michigan State (17), Virginia (18), UCLA (20), Indiana (21), Air Force (23), Michigan (25), Portland (26), Wisconsin (28), Washington State (29) and Columbia (30), as well as California, Eastern Kentucky, Eastern Michigan, Minnesota, Penn, Purdue, Tulsa and Washington, who are all receiving a mention in the latest poll. The overall field will be rounded out by Florida State, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina State, Providence, San Francisco and UConn.
NOTE FOR FANS TRAVELING TO THE MEET
There is no spectator parking at Zimmer Championship Course, University Ridge Golf Club or on the county highways near the course. Parking will be located at Blackhawk Church (9620 Brader Way), with a shuttle transporting spectators to the course for a $5 round-trip fee.
MEN DEBUT AT #23 IN USTFCCCA COACHES’ POLL
Following a strong performance at the Joe Piane Invitational, the men earned its first national ranking of the 2017 campaign on Oct. 3, as they debuted at No. 23 – the program’s highest USTFCCCA ranking in two years. It is the first national placement since the fifth-week of the 2016 season - and their highest ranking since the sixth week of the 2015 season.
WOMEN CONTINUE TO RECEIVE MENTION IN WEEKLY POLL
For the fourth time in as many weeks, the women received votes in the USTFCCCA poll. After finishing sixth at the Joe Piane Invitational, the women collected 15 points to move up eight spots in the “also receiving votes” category and stand at No. 33 in the overall listing.
FALCONS POST PROGRAM-BEST FINISHES AT JOE PIANE INVITATIONAL
Air Force collected its highest finishes ever at the Joe Piane Invitational on Sept. 29, as the men placed third and the women took sixth. The men have now claimed top-10 finishes in four of the last five meets in South Bend, while the women earned their first-ever top-10 placement.
THE NEXT COURSE
Air Force returns to competition on Friday, Oct. 27, when it begins postseason competition at the 2017 Mountain West Cross Country Championships.