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I'm interested in how Providence will finish twice in the results.
Ok. State isn't running their full squad according to an interview with Coach Smith on TrackShark.
And Oregon isn't sending it men's or women's teams. So this year Pre-Nats won't help sort out the very top men's or women's teams.
For the men, we won't see any head-to-head competition between the top-4 teams until the Big-12 meet (#2 Oklahoma vs. #3 Colorado). #1 Oregon will go against #4 Portland at the West Regional meet. (At the Oct 4 Dellinger meet, Oregon, with their two best runners out, narrowly beat Portland 49-56.) That's it.
For the top-4 women's teams, #1 Washington & #2 Oregon will go head-to-head twice before Nats (at PAC-10 & West Regional meets). #1 Washington races #4 Minnesota at Pre-Nats. That's it.
The top head-to-head competitions at Pre-Nats will be:
MEN BLUE RACE (#2 Oklahoma St vs. #6 Alabama)
MEN WHITE RACE (#3 Colorado vs. #7 Iona College
WOMEN BLUE RACE (#1 Washington vs. #4 Minnesota)
WOMEN WHITE RACE (#3 Florida St. vs. #5 Princeton)
These top ranked teams should all have easy wins in their Pre-Nats races (except for Oklahoma if they don't send their best runners). A win by Iona, Minnesota or Princeton would be considered an upset.
Top 25 - Combined B&W Races
1. Oklahoma State
5. Iona College
6. Iowa State
7. Florida State
10.North Carolina State
12.William & Mary
Minnesota got 8th last year and is arguably better this year. They always start slow and peak well. I don't think they will do anything spectacular at pre-nats, probably 5th or 6th in their race and about 10th overall, but look for them to win Big 10s, place 2nd and Midwest regionals, and be 6th at the big dance.
I'm trying to find a thread with info in what is up with Wisconsin. They're running an invite that's mostly Div III teams this weekend, and they still haven't run their top two recruits, Rob Finnerty and Maverick Darling. Considering what Fernandez, Derrick, Puskedra, Lowe, Fout, Johnson and others have been doing, it would seem like a big mistake not to run them.
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