Columbus, Ohio. - The Ohio State women's and men's cross country teams are headed to the Joe Piane Invitational hosted by Notre Dame this Friday (Sept. 29). Both the women's and men's teams will run in the Blue Race, which is the elite race of the day for both sexes. The meet will be hosted at The Burke Golf Course.
The 62nd annual Joe Piane Invitational will welcome over 50 schools to the meet on Friday, including a total of 11 ranked teams (seven women and four men). Ohio State's women's team is one of the seven ranked teams in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll coming in at No. 26.
Women: No. 1 Colorado, No. 3 New Mexico, No. 7 NC State, No. 9 Arkansas, No. 12 Notre Dame, No. 26 Ohio State and No. 27 Utah.
Men: No. 4 Colorado, No. 3 NC State, No. 11 Washington State and No. 13 Southern Utah.
Women | 1 p.m. ET | 5k (Blue Race)
Men | 1:45 p.m. ET | 5 miles (Blue Race)
You can follow live updates of the race on Twitter @OhioState_TFXC.
This is the third meet of the year for the Buckeyes and they are coming off of a team win at the Commodore Classic (Sept. 16) where they knocked off No. 14 Missouri and No. 21 Eastern Michigan. Sophomore Lainey Studebaker has been the catalyst for Ohio State thus far with two top-10 finishes this season, including a personal best 5k time of 17:34.8 at the Commodore Classic.
Sarah Kanney has also been a big contributor scoring at both meets so far this year. A mix of six other athletes have contributed to the Buckeyes' scoring effort this season: Emily Stoodley Jessica Passwater, Kalee Soehnlen, Abby Nichols, Caroline Millican and Christine Frederick.
Senior Evan Stifel has been the top Buckeye finisher at the last nine races and this will be his first time competing at the Joe Piane Invitational. Aaron Wood's sophomore season has been off to a great start with a pair of top-15 showings; he finished 10th at the Indiana Opener and 12th at the Commodore Classic.
The quartet of Mitch Leitch, Kevin Blank, Jake Mandel and Patrick Kunkel have scored at races this season. All seniors, Leitch, Blank and Mandel have scored at both meets this season, while Kunkel scored at the first race of the season.