Cross Country Set for Pre-Nationals

Oct. 12, 2012

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Kentucky cross country teams will hit the same site that will host the 2012 NCAA Championship for the second time in three weeks in Saturday’s Pre-National Invitational at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park.

The men's 8,000 meter seeded race will get under way at 9:30 am ET and the women’s 6K seeded race will start at 10:15 am.

The meet will serve as a precursor for the national championships, and this year’s races feature multiple programs that were among the top finishers at the 2011 national championships.

"We've made some good progress over the last two weeks since our last trip to Louisville,” men’s cross country coach Jason Dunn said. “I am definitely looking forward to seeing us compete again.  It will be a great opportunity for us to line up against some of the best teams in the country and see where we stand in preparation for the championship portion of our season."

The meet includes 15 teams ranked inside the USTFCCCA polls including No. 3 BYU, No. 7 Colorado, No. 9 Tulsa, No. 14 Florida State and No. 15 Oregon on the men’s side. The women’s field contains four top-10 squads.

“Our women have been looking forward to stepping up to the 6K distance for some time now,” women’s cross country coach Hakon DeVries said. “This weekend’s field is just as strong, if not stronger, than it was two weeks ago. This race is important for building momentum heading into the SEC Championship in two weeks.

“Our preparation has been good so hopefully we continue to improve like we have done each race so far. If we can continue to do that, we can bring some attention to the program, and surprise some people this week.”

The Wildcats are coming off strong performances at Sawyer Park two weeks ago highlighted by Cally Macumber and Luis Orta.

The women completed the Greater Louisville Classic eighth overall, finishing as the only team not ranked nationally among the meet’s top-eight.

They were led by Macumber as she came in second individually with a 5K time of 16:55.14, which currently stands as the best time at that distance in the SEC so far this season.

She is off to a great start to the campaign having now finished inside the top two at each of the three meets the Wildcats have competed in. Macumber already boasts an individual victory at the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational. 

The junior came in ahead of Washington’s Katie Flood two weeks ago, who is the defending Pac-12 champion and a top-10 finisher at the 2011 NCAA Championships. 

Orta’s 12th-place 8K time of 24:06.96 at the last race earned him SEC Co-Men’s Runner of the Week for the fourth time in the past two seasons.

It was Orta’s third-straight top-20 performance this year and his ninth-consecutive top-25 finish dating back the 2011 season-opener. 

The former First Team All-SEC selection lowered his previous best 8K time of 2012 by over 30 seconds in leading the Wildcat men to a 12th-place team finish.

Chelsea Oswald is also enjoying a stellar season as she has placed inside the top-10 in all three meets the Wildcats have competed in. 

For complete results from the Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic and for all UK cross country news, go to Follow the Wildcats on Twitter and Instagram @KentuckyTrack.