SEATTLE – The wins at the Sundodger Invitational feel like a distant memory at this point, as the Husky cross country teams finally return to racing this Saturday at Oregon’s annual Bill Dellinger Invitational. Held at the Springfield Country Club, the flat, fast course will propel the Dawgs into the critical next two months of racing.
Having logged hundreds of miles of training since the Sundodger on Sept. 14, the Dellinger Invite will give the Huskies another chance to gauge their progress, and a first chance this season to go against some nationally and regionally ranked competition. No. 4 Oregon and No. 8 BYU highlight the men’s field, with Boise State, Gonzaga, Idaho, and Portland State adding to the northwest flavor. The men will run 8,000-meters and are up first at 10:30 a.m.
The Husky men’s team is receiving votes in the national poll but sits outside the top-30, and a strong run on Saturday could get UW into the rankings where the women’s team habitually resides, currently at No. 7. The women’s race will likely be a battle between the Huskies and the No. 5-ranked Oregon Ducks, with the same teams as the men’s race rounding out the field, with the exception of Wichita State in the mix instead of BYU. The women will run 5,000-meters and the gun will go off at 11:15 a.m.
Teams are allowed to enter up to ten athletes in each race. Entered for the women’s team will be seniors Katie Flood, Liberty Miller, Justine Johnson, sophomores Eleanor Fulton, Maddie Meyers and Erin Johnson, and freshmen Kaylee Flanagan and Katie Knight. Also making her official Husky debut will be freshman Amy-Eloise Neale, and another debut of sorts will come from Baylee Mires, as the 800-meter honorable mention All-American will run her first collegiate cross country race.
On the starting line for the men’s team will be juniors Aaron Beattie, Aaron Nelson, sophomores Tyler King, Meron Simon, Angelo Comeaux, and Jacob Smith, redshirt freshmen Nick Harris and Blake Nelson, and true freshmen Andrew Gardner and Sumner Goodwin. Goodwin will be wearing the Husky singlet for the first time this week after a great unattached run at the Sundodger.
The Husky men’s team ran at the Dellinger Invite last year, finishing fourth overall. The UW women last ran at the Dellinger Invite in 2007, finishing third overall, led by a second-place finish from then-sophomore Katie Follett.