The Iowa State cross country program is set to compete in the prestigious Wisconsin Nuttycombe Invitational this Friday at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course in Madison, Wisconsin.
The "Nuttycombe," as it's often shortened to, is hosting its 11th running on Friday. Over the years, it has become a mainstay of displaying the best talent in the country and a place where teams can gain big race experience before NCAA Regionals in November.
This year's edition is no different, as both the Cyclone men and women's teams are currently ranked in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association and national polls. The Cyclones will run against over half of the top-30 teams in the country in their respective rankings, as they look to carry momentum with them to defend their Big 12 Conference titles on Nov. 2 in Waco, Texas.
The Cyclone women will be running in a field of 36 teams from all parts of the United States, many of which they have faced over the course of this season. 20 of the top-30 squads in the country will be represented in Madison on Friday. This includes the No. 29 Cyclones and top-five squads Stanford, New Mexico and Arkansas.
The Cyclones are coming off a tough 17th place team finish at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational in a field of 24 squads, amassing a total of 166 points between their six runners.
Led by an eighth-place finish from junior Cailie Logue, the defending Big 12 and Midwest Regional individual champion, the Cyclones only had one other top-50 placing in senior Abby Caldwell — causing them to fall 13 spots in the national rankings.
They lost their No. 1 Midwest Regional ranking as well, falling to No. 3 behind Big Ten teams Illinois and Minnesota.
Over on the men's side, coach Martin Smith and his squad are virtually standing pat in the national rankings, only moving down one spot the No. 6 in the polls, while still retaining their No. 1 Midwest Regional ranking.
The Cyclone men will also run in a stacked field of some of nation's best runners, as 18 of the 36 teams running Friday morning are currently ranked in the top-30. This is highlighted by top-5 squads Stanford and national champs Northern Arizona.
The Cyclones have had quite some time of rest before this upcoming test, as their only other meet of this season was on Sept. 21 at the John McNichols Invitational. There the Cyclones finished third in the overall standings.
In that effort, the Cyclones were led by senior All-American Edwin Kurgat, who opened his final season in a Cardinal and Gold uniform as individual champion, with each of the other Cyclone runners also finishing in the top-25.
The Cyclone men and women will be running Friday afternoon on the beautiful Ron Zimmer Championship Course. Besides being the site for last year's national championships, it is also a relatively challenging course with a dense forest section and many hills and valleys to run up.
The Women's 6K is set to start to 11 a.m., followed closely by the Men's 8K race with start time set at 11:40 a.m.
Boise State (#26)
Eastern Kentucky (#25)
Iowa State (#6)
Northern Arizona (#1)
North Carolina State (#10)
Notre Dame (#13)
Utah State (#22)
Air Force (#21)
Boise State (#11)
Iowa State (#29)
Michigan State (#10)
Northern Arizona (#27)
North Carolina State (#9)
New Mexico (#T4)
Notre Dame (#16)
Ohio State (#22)
Oregon State (#25)