SPORTING ALERT – A total of 31 men’s and 32 women’s teams will compete in this year’s Crimson Classic cross-country meeting in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on Friday evening.
While several of the nation’s top programs are off to either the Pre-National Invitational in Louisville, or the Wisconsin adidas Invitational in Madison, No. 6 Oklahoma State has decided to stay out of the spotlight.
The Cowboys, who are coming off a winning performance at the OSU Jamboree meeting in September, will be hoping to build on that display as they continue to prepare for the Big 12 Championships in two weeks.
At the Crimson Classic on Friday, the men from Stillwater, the highest ranked program competing in Tuscaloosa, will battle against several SEC outfits, including the host Alabama, LSU and Texas A&M.
Sophomore Cerake Geberkidane, who race home to a victory in his last outing for the Cowboys, is hoping to take another individual title on Friday as he looks to lead from the front.
“Cerake is taking it to another level,” OSU head coach Dave Smith recalled after his lead runner posted 24:31 to win at the 2015 Jamboree meet.
“He’s a much better athlete than he was last year and I’ve been saying all year that I’ve seen a maturity and focus to his training that hasn’t been there before – he’s going to do something big this year.”
No. 28 Oklahoma State and No. 30 Alabama are expected to lead the race for the team title on the women’s side.
In their last head-to-head battle, Ingeborg Loevnes guided the Cowgirls to a narrow two-point victory over the Crimson Tide at the 2015 Jamboree meeting.
Alabama’s Rachael Reddy took home the individual women’s 6k title that day though in a time of 21:02, with team-mate Katelyn Greenleaf following her home in second place with a time of 21:09.
Loevnes was third in Stillwater in 21:17, while Natalie Baker, Katie Spencer and Kaela Edwards all finished in the top 10.
Other notable teams competing in the women’s race are Florida State, Auburn, LSU and Texas A&M.
The women will run over 5k at the Crimson Classic and this will go off at 5 p.m. CT, while with the men’s 8k race is set to start at 5:30 p.m. CT. Results will be available at the rolltide.com at the end of the race.