Wildcats Run Penn State Invitational Course Friday

Oct. 15, 2009

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Running for the first time outside of the Bluegrass state, the UK cross country teams trek northeast to take part in the Penn State National Invitational on the Nittany Lions' Blue/White Golf Course in University Park, Pa., Friday.

The men's 5.2-mile race kicks off the meet at 10 a.m. ET, the women's 6K competition follows an hour later. Last season the Wildcat women finished sixth at the Invitational, placing ahead of several nationally-ranked squads. On the men's side last year, Wildcat Adam Henken finished sixth overall to lead the Cats to a seventh-place finish.

Both UK teams won their first two meets of the season and both squads placed second two weeks ago at the Greater Louisville Classic. Freshman Cally Macumber was named the SEC Country Female Freshman of the Week for her performance in the Derby City. Macumber clocked in as the Wildcats' top runner for the second consecutive women's race, finishing 12th overall.

The National Invitational is the first chance for the Wildcat squads to compete against nationally ranked teams this season. The women's field boasts six teams that received votes in the latest United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll. Third-ranked West Virginia headlines four ranked teams alongside host No. 16 Penn State, No. 23 Michigan and No. 25 Providence. The ladies from Boston College and Stony Brook also received votes last week. No. 10 Georgetown is the lone ranked team on the men's side.

"Each race of the season, we face tougher and tougher competition," said UK assistant coach for cross country and distance John Mortimer. "Based on some great training and our positive races this season, we are ready to test ourselves against some of the top programs from the Northeast, Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions."

The men's field at the Classic features 26 squads. Besides the nationally-ranked Hoyas, the Wildcat men are one of 11 regionally-ranked squads in action Friday. UK stands at No. 8 in the latest Southeast Region poll from the USTFCCCA. Host Penn State is one of a five ranked teams from the Mid-Atlantic at No. 7, along with No. 5 LaSalle, No. 9 Pennsylvania, No. 10 Bucknell and No. 11 Duquesne. Four ranked squads from the Northeast will run in No. 7 Cornell, No. 9 Binghamton, No. 10 Yale and No. 12 Marist. Kent State rounds out the regionally ranked teams at No. 10 in the Great Lakes region.

The women's Invitational field consists of 29 squads. The UK women are one of 10 regionally-ranked teams in addition to the six squads receiving national votes. The Wildcats stand at No. 6 in the Southeast Region. A half dozen of those teams hail from the Mid-Atlantic: No. 6 Pennsylvania, No. 9 Bucknell, No. 10 LaSalle, No. 11 Duquesne, No. 12 George Washington and No. 15 Lehigh. They join a pair of ranked teams from the Northeast, No. 6 Cornell and No. 10 Connecticut and the lone ranked squad competing from the Great Lakes, No. 14 Kent State.

UK cross country results and a complete release from Friday's meet will be available at UKathletics.com.