Oct. 17, 2008
The No. 16 Auburn men's and women's cross country teams will travel to Terre Haute, Ind., for the Pre-National meet on Saturday at the LaVern Gibson Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center. The Pre-National meet is regarded as a prelude to the NCAA Championships that are held at the same location on Nov. 24. Pre-Nationals will serve as the Tigers' final tune up before embarking upon postseason action.
Auburn's women will race first with the 6K Blue Race at 11 a.m. CT. The Tigers will run against 11 of the nations ranked teams, including No. 1 Washington. A total of 41 teams will run in the women's Blue Race.
"For the women, we are trying to sneak up on some people and earn a win over a ranked team," head cross country coach Peter Watson said. "The key is going to be where our fourth and fifth girls are at the end of the race. There is zero room for mistakes. For Holly [Knight], this is going to be a great experience as she is going to get to run with the best runners in the country."
The 16th-ranked men will follow at 12:50 p.m. CT in the 8K White Race. The Tigers are one of 11 ranked squads running in the White Race. No. 3 Colorado and No. 7 Iona lead the way among 40 men's teams in the White Race.
"This is the biggest meet of the season so far and by far the most competitive meet of the year other than the NCAA championships," Watson said. "For the guys this meet will tell us exactly where we are in regards to the best teams in the country. We are really looking forward to Saturday and I know the guys are itching to go."
Auburn's men are coming off of a first-place performance at the Tiger Invitational held Oct. 4. The Tigers captured first through third places in the 8K race with Elkanah Kibet winning his third race, followed by Felix Kiboiywo and Girma Mecheso.
Auburn's women placed sixth at the 5K Tiger Invitational with Knight crossing the line first for the Tigers in fourth place.