Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s and women’s cross country teams will take their talents to the NCAA Great Lakes Regional this Friday, Nov. 10; the meet will be hosted by Indiana State in Terre Haute,Ind. The Buckeyes will be showcasing their talents at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, where the women will run a 6k at 11:15 a.m. ET and the men will run a 10k at 12:15 p.m. ET.
The women’s race will feature 33 teams and 289 individual runners. The Buckeyes come into the meet ranked No. 25 in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) top 30 poll after their sixth-place finish two weeks ago at the Big Ten Championships.
The women are on the hunt for a bid to the NCAA Championships after narrowly missing out in 2016. A top-two finish at this meet would give the Scarlet and Gray an auto bid to the Big Dance. Ohio State enters the meet as the fourth best team in the Great Lakes Region according to the USTFCCCA behind No. 8 Michigan, No. 17 Wisconsin and No. 21 Michigan State.
Christine Frederick is coming off the best 6k race of her career where she clocked a personal-best 6k time of 20:39.2 to place 11th at the Big Ten Championships on her way to earning Second Team All-Big Ten honors. Frederick made an impressive move with about three minutes left in the conference race to improve her positioning from the 30s all the way to 11th.
The Buckeyes are very familiar with this 6k course in Terre Haute having competed at the 2016 Pre Nationals hosted by Indiana State. They will be running the exact same course that they covered last season. Frederick along with Sarah Kanney, Lainey Studebaker, Brittany Atkinson, Emily Stoodley and Abby Nichols all competed at the 2016 Pre Nationals.
Ohio State placed sixth at the 2016 NCAA Great Lakes Regional. All five scorers from last year’s regional (Kanney, Frederick, Stoodley, Nichols and Lilly Saniel-Banrey) are back and will look to contribute to the team scoring effort again.
Nine different regionals will be contested across the country on Friday afternoon with the top two teams earning automatic bids to the NCAA Championship. The final 13 spots are at-large positions and be selected via a national selection process that counts up wins each team has registered over ranked squads.
The men will be running a 10k race for the first time this season against 29 teams and 228 individuals. Jake Mandel, Ohio State’s highest finisher at the 2016 NCAA Great Lakes Regional, looks to be peaking at the right time of the season. Just two weeks ago at the Big Ten Championships, Mandel paced the Buckeyes with a 63rd-place showing.
Sophomore Aaron Wood will be competing at his first career Great Lakes Regional with hopes of maintaining his form that he has shown all season long. Wood has been either Ohio State’s No. 1 or No. 2 finisher at all four races he has competed at this year. At the 2017 conference meet, Wood finished just two spots behind Mandel in the 8k race with a 65th-place showing.