9/21-10:00 am UPDATE: The Iowa State men's cross country team withdrew from the Roy Griak Invitational on Thursday morning. In a team press release, head coach Martin Smith explained that the decision was made after several of his athletes came down with illness.
"We have four of our top seven runners nursing various illnesses and my first concern is the wellness of our student-athletes," Smith said. "We have a long history of competing at the Griak and we were looking forward to making a run at winning the meet this season. Regretfully, we have to rest our team this week in light of our team's health. It is disappointing to miss one of our region's premiere competitions."
The Cyclones are scheduled to compete at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational on October 13, which will also be live on FloTrack.
Division 1 Women's Race
Who: No. 9 San Francisco, No. 17 Iowa State, No. 19 Michigan State
When: 1:20 PM
Why: Three top-ranked teams will face off in the competitive Division I women's race, including No. 9 San Francisco, No. 17 Iowa State, and No. 19 Michigan State. The San Francisco women broke through last fall when the team collected a sixth-place finish at the NCAA cross country championships. In the spring, the Dons' top returner Charlotte Taylor earned the NCAA crown in the 10K at the NCAA outdoor championships, the first title in program history. She went on to compete for Great Britain at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London.
Watch Taylor run her first XC workout since the world championships:
Competing alongside San Francisco will be No. 17 Iowa State, who boasts the No. 15 recruiting class which includes star freshmen Callie Logue, Amanda Vestri, Sarah Leinheiser, and Karly Ackley.
No. 19 Michigan State enters the meet with top returners Holly Bullough and Jenny Rogers, who lead a reloaded group of Spartan women, including impact freshman and Foot Locker finalist India Johnson.
Division 1 Men's Race
Who: No. 15 Colorado State, No. 23 UCLA
When: 12:10 PM
Why: Two of the top 25 FloXC teams will be competing in the first major meet of the season where Kolas points can be earned. No. 15 Colorado State comes to Griak with a dangerous 1-2-3 punch of All-American Jerrell Mock, 13:46 5K star Grant Fischer, and 3:59 miler Cole Rockhold. No. 23 UCLA will be debuting talented transfer Robert Brandt who comes to the Bruins with personal bests of 13:45 in the 5K and 28:48 in the 10K.
Division 2 Women's Race
Who: No. 4 U-Mary, No. 8 Simon Fraser, No. 10 Northern Michigan
When: 9:50 AM
Why: Three of FloXC's best Division II teams in the country will toe the line. No. 4 U-Mary returns this fall after finishing seventh as a team at the 2016 NCAA championships. U-Mary will be led by 2015 NCAA champion Alexis Zeis who finished runner-up last fall. No. 8 Simon Fraser enters Griak with the power of five women from last year's top seven which helped them earn a sixth-place finish at NCAAs. No. 10 Northern Michigan is ready for a rebound this season after finishing 14th at the NCAA championships. Look out for a solid group of five led by All-American Kameron Burmeister.