Top 10 Preview
No. 1 Grand Valley State heading to Michigan State on Friday
No. 1 Grand Valley State at Spartan Invitational
Grand Valley State opens up the season Friday at the Spartan Invite. The women's team has won two of the last three NCAA Division II titles and is ranked No. 1 to begin the year.
The Lakers return five scorers from the 2012 national meet and six of the seven runners who competed at the championship. Sophomore Jessica Janecke, who finished fourth overall in 2012, returns. Finishing sixth last season and also returning is junior Allyson Winchester. Juniors Hannah Osborn (26th) and Madie Rodts (42nd) as well as senior Courtney Brewis (51st) also return after scoring for the Lakers at last year's championship meet.
The Lakers will kick off the season this weekend as they take part in the 2013 Spartan Invitational hosted by Michigan State this Friday.
Some competitors will include Albion, Ashland, Central Michigan, Ferris State, Hillsdale College, Indiana (Pa.), Lake Superior State, Michigan State, Olivet, Saginaw Valley, Southern Indiana and Wayne State.
No. 2 Adams State
No. 3 Western State
No. 4 Augustana (S.D.)
No. 5 Chico State at Sundodger Invitational
Sixteen Chico State athletes hope their first race of the season is sweet Saturday at the Sundodger Invitational hosted by Washington in Seattle's Lincoln Park. The Wildcats, ranked No. 5 in the nation, will square off against 13th-ranked Simon Fraser and three more of the region's top-10 teams in the women's six-kilometer Open Run.
Senior Sara Mikesell finished 14th at the NCAAs to lead the Wildcats to their 11th consecutive top-10 finish at the nationals. Ayla Granados, Jessica Varela and Rebekah Bahra joined Mikesell in earning All-West Region and All-California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) accolades.
Chico State last competed in the Sundodger Invitational in 2006, finishing third.
No. 6 Shippensburg at Division II Challenge
Shippensburg finished third with 57 team points on Sept. 6 in the fourth annual season-opening Galen Piper Alumni Open/Cross Country Challenge.
Elizabethtown won the race with 38 team points.
Redshirt-freshman Reynah Spence was SU's top finisher.
On Saturday Shippensburg will travel to Kutztown, Pa., for the Division II Challenge.
No. 7 Alaska-Anchorage
No. 8 Colorado-Colorado Springs
No. 9 Winona State at Wisconsin-Parkside Midwest Open
Winona State will compete in its first full-field event of the season at the Wisconsin-Parkside Midwest Open on Saturday.
The Warriors opened their season with a team victory at the SMU Alumni Open on Sept. 7. Jessica Young won the individual title with a time of 19:18 while five Warriors finished in the top-ten. Jordan Skelly added a third-place finish while Jordana LeSavage was fifth, Chelsea Schrubbe sixth and Jordan Paschke finished seventh.
Winona State currently enjoys the highest team ranking in program history, coming in at ninth on the USTFCCCA charts. The Warriors broke into the nation's top-ten last season, rising to tenth before the NCAA championship.
Four of the seven Warriors who competed at the 2012 NCAA Division II championship return. Jessica Young. Jordan Skelly, Jordan Paschke and Chelsea Schrubbe all return from a team that placed ninth at the national meet last year.
No. 10 West Texas A&M at Red Raider Open
West Texas A&M will begin its season Friday as the runners travel down south to Lubbock, Texas, to compete in the 2013 Texas Tech Red Raider Open. The Lady Buffs claimed the meet title last season with a team total of 29 points.
The event will take place at Meadowbrook Golf Course.
Among the 16 teams participating are NCAA Division I members Texas Tech, Oral Roberts and Abilene Christian, and fellow Lone Star Conference member Eastern New Mexcio.
The defending Lone Star Conference champion Lady Buffs' squad, who return six runners from 2012, race into the fall ranked tenth in the nation. They finished fifth at the South Central Regional Championships last season followed by an 11th place showing at the national championships.