Friday, October 26th
The Big East women's race has five nationally-ranked teams headed by No. 9 Georgetown and No. 10 Providence. The Hoyas were the surprise national champ a year ago while No. 22 Villanova won the NCAA crown prior to that. Among those vying for the individual title are 'Nova's Emily Lipari and Syracuse's Sarah Pagano. The men's side is a bit down in 2012 with No. 16 Syracuse the only squad among the nation's top 24, while Villanova and Georgetown are just outside of that. Notre Dame's Jeremy Rae and G'town's Mark Dennin are among those looking at the individual crown. Start times: Women 11 am; Men 11:50 am.
No. 9 Arkansas — with a strong finish at the adidas Wisconsin Invitational — is the clear favorite for the men. Georgia and Texas A&M would be considered its top challengers. It is a similar story on the women's side as the Razorbacks are ranked 12th, far ahead of Vanderbilt and Florida, both of which are hanging on to a national ranking. Look for A&M's Henry Lelei to lead the way for the men as he was among the leaders at the Wisco meet. Start times: Women 11 am; Men noon (Eastern).
Saturday, October 27th
The class of the meet is the women's team from Florida State as the Seminoles are a near unanimous choice as the nation's top team. Duke is back a bit, ranked 11th, while the Boston College Eagles are also ranked. The Noles — who are led by Colleen Quigley and Violah Lagat — have won four straight ACC titles (a fifth was vacated). The men's race will be much less predictable as No. 14 FSU, No. 18 Duke and No. 21 Virginia Tech are bunched up in the national rankings. Start times: Women 10 am; Men 10:50 am.
CORRECTION: Boston University was initially listed as the men's favorite, but the Terriers announced departure to the Patriot League has left them ineligible to compete for the title. Last season, BU and Albany both scored 60 points, but the league's tiebreaker favored the Great Danes. Can Albany win again? The women's side should be a dog fight. If Stony Brook wants a sixth straight title, it will need to knock off host New Hampshire and Vermont. Start times: Men 10 am; Women 11 am.
No A-10 teams are ranked nationally, but both the men's and women's teams from Butler, La Salle and Duquesne have ranked well regionally. Perhaps the Explorers should have a bit of an edge, given its knowledge of the course at the Belmont Plateau. Start times: Women 10 am; Men 10:45 am.
The men's race should be an epic battle. No. 1 Oklahoma State will be looking for a fifth straight conference title, but neither No. 6 Oklahoma nor No. 7 Texas is ready to concede a thing. Of local interest, former Columbia Lion Kyle Merber is now a member of the Longhorn Nation, so we will be watching him in this one. On the women's side, No. 2 Iowa State has had a sensational season as it marches to defense of its Big XII championship from last year. Looks like Texas is its stiffest competition. Start times: Men 11 am; Women noon (Eastern).
The nation's No. 1 Haverford, on its home course, is the team to beat on the men's side. In their 38th year under Coach Tom Donnelly, the Fords had a breakout performance at the Princeton Invitational to knock North Central of Illinois out of the top spot nationally for the first team in more than two years. On the women's side, No. 2 Johns Hopkins is the team to beat, but No. 14 Haverford and No. 15 Dickinson are ready to shock the D-III world. Start times: Men 11 am; Women noon.
William & Mary looks like the team to beat for both the men and the women. The Tribe women are ranked 18th nationally and were the team to beat in the Southeast Region until Duke had a breakthrough performance in Wisconsin. Start times: Men 10 am; Women 11 am.
Ithaca is the only Empire 8 team in the regional rankings for men or women, so we expect the Bombers to sweep (like they've done each of the last two years).
After growing frustrations with the construction at Vanny, the Ivies moved to Princeton last fall and had a memorable meet in the snowfall. Weather is expected to be better as the League has moved the Championship to Saturday instead of the traditional Friday. Expect No. 10 Columbia and No. 23 Princeton to slug it out on the men's side. No. 7 Cornell is the class of the field for the women, but No. 22 Yale and two formerly ranked teams — Princeton and Columbia — are all looking to make a statement. The heavy favorite individual on the women's side is Dartmouth All-American Abbey D'Agostino, who could be the favorite to win the NCAAs. The men's individual race looks wide open. Start times: Women 11 am; Men noon.
St. Lawrence is ranked seventh in the nation by the U.S. Track & Field Coaches, so we are expecting a big win for the Saints, but the men's side might provide a great battle. St. L is ranked nationally, but RPI is right behind in the regional rankings. Start times: Men noon; Women 1 pm.
The Norfolk State men and the Hampton women look to be the teams to beat. Both teams are repeat champions already. Start times: Women 9:45 am; Men 10:30 am.
The men's race can be summed up in a word — Iona. The Gaels are ranked fourth nationally after superb showings at both the Greater Louisville Classic and the adidas Wisconsin Invitational, which they almost won. Mitch Goose and Matt Gillespie lead the way for Coach Ricardo Santos. The women's race is a bit less clear cut, but Iona is also the highest rated team in the conference (11th in the Northeast Region). Start times: Men 8 am; Women 8:45 am.
It would seem that the easy beat would be to pick Central Connecticut State for the men and Quinnipiac for the women. After all, both teams have won the team title each of the last three years. But on the women's side, many are looking for a change at the top as Sacred Heart recently jumped into the regional rankings, the only NEC team to do so. Start times: Women 11 am; Men noon.
This will be the best conference meet in the nation as the PAC-12 women have four of the nation's top six women's teams and three of the top eight men's teams. For the women, it is No. 3 Oregon, No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 Arizona and No. 6 Washington. Remarkably, Jordan Hasay has not been the Ducks' top runner this fall with the emergence of Dartmouth transfer Alexi Pappas. Meanwhile, Aisling Cuffe has been steady for the Cardinal. For the men, watch for No. 2 Colorado, No. 3 Stanford and No. 8 Oregon. And yet, the top two runners are expected to come from the Arizona Wildcats. Lawi Lalang and Stephen Sambu have been dominant this fall and the conference championships aren't expected to be different. Start times: Women 12:40 am; Men 1:40 pm (Eastern).
Can Navy hold off Lehigh to win yet another Patriot men's title? Can the Mids pull off the men's and women's sweep like it did a year ago? Navy sophomore Annie-Norah Beveridge is the one to watch in this one as she won an unprecedented five Patriot League Athlete of the Week awards this season. Start times: Women 11 am; Men noon.
Can Geneseo pull off the men's and women's sweep like it did last year in New Paltz? Well, the men from Cortland and the women from Plattsburgh are both nationally ranked and looking to pull off a surprise in this race.
There won't be a stronger field in the D-III nation than in Rochester as five of the UAA men's teams are ranked in the nation's top 24, led by No. 10 Washington (Mo.) and No. 12 NYU. The women also have four in the top 30 with No. 8 Chicago and No. 16 NYU atop the heap. Washington has pulled off the double in each if the last two years, but these year that would be a difficult task. Perhaps, the Violets from lower Manhattan are in a better position to make that happen.
Sunday, October 28th
After blowing up at its own adidas Invitational, the NCAA defending men's champion Wisconsin fell from No. 1 to No. 20 and left many thinking that a repeat was unlikely for the Badgers. Now the question is, can Wisco — with Maverick Darling leading the way — win the Big 10 crown? The only ranked teams in the path are No. 11 Michigan and No. 24 Indiana. On the women's side, expect fireworks as No. 7 Michigan, No. 13 Penn State and No. 15 Michigan State compete for the title, albeit on the Spartans' home course. Iowa' Mareike Schrulle will be one to watch. Start time: 10:45 am
If you are going with history in this race, you have to go with Hunter College. The Hawks have won three straight on the men's side (and 14 times under Ed Zarowin since 1989). The women have won nine championships for Zarowin, including the last two. Start times: Women 9:30 am; Men 10:30 am.
Long Island's St. Joseph has swept the men's and women's team titles each of the last two years at Van Cortlandt Park, but this year the championship moves north to Chadwick Lake Park in Newburgh. Start times: Women noon; Men 12:45 pm.