cross-country-men-d3 flag | September 27, 2013

Preview: UW-La Crosse looks for repeat at Griak

T2 Wisconsin-La Crosse, No. 7 Bates, No. 9 Wisconsin-Eau Claire at Griak Invitational

With a combined 30 ranked teams between all three NCAA divisions in action competing in the 28th annual Roy Griak Invitational at Minnesota, it only makes sense that three of the top teams of Division III would be among the competitive field. 

T2 Wisconsin-La Crosse, No. 7 Bates and No. 9 Wisconsin-Eau Claire will travel to St. Paul, Minn., to lead the pack in the Division III portion of the race. 

T2 Haverford
No. 4 Washington (Mo.)

Tied-for-second UW-La Crosse won its season opener at the Wisconsin-River Falls Falcon Invitational on Sept. 14. The leading runner was David Stilin who placed sixth overall. At last year's Griak Invitational, UW-La Crosse was the team champion with 45 points.

Ranked seventh nationally, Bates edged rival and No. 5-ranked Bowdoin by one point to claim second place among 19 teams at the USM Invitational on the Sept. 21. 

No. 9 Wisconsin-Eau Claire had four runners finishing in the top 11, and finished in second place, behind UW-La Crosse at the UW-River Falls Falcon Invitational. 

This weekend's race will prove to be a show-down for Division III. 

Also competing this weekend:

No. 1 North Central (Ill.) at DuPage Invitational 

The Cardinals, winners of the previous two NCAA Division III national championships and three of the past four national titles, were the unanimous No. 1 selection, receiving all eight first-place votes and the maximum 280 points.

The Cardinals will send a squad to the College of DuPage Invitational on Friday at St. James Farm in Warrenville, Ill.

No. 5 Bowdoin at Bowdoin Invitational 

Bowdoin will return to action on Saturday after a third-place showing in the 19-team field of the University of Southern Maine Invitational on Sept. 21. With its lone home event of the season, the Bowdoin Invitational, scheduled for the Pickard Cross Country Course will compete again.

At last year's Bowdoin Invitational, Bowdoin won the team title.

No. 6 Calvin at MIAA Jamboree

The Knights have now rested from competition for two weeks and will head to the MIAA Jamboree at Adrian College on Saturday.

Sixth-ranked Calvin opened its season on Sept. 14 at the Knight Invite. The team was concerned with its fairly young competitors, however, three freshman finished in the top seven of the invite and Calvin finished third overall with a team score of 142. 

At the MIAA Jamboree in 2012, Calvin took home the team title. 

No. 8 Williams at Purple Valley Invitational 

After competing in Canada on Sept. 14, No. 8 Williams have had two weeks to prepare for Saturday's meet, the Purple Valley Classic.

Williams, ranked eighth nationally, is slated to host 17 teams in the annual meet at Mount Greylock High School. The field will be highlighted by regional rivals Middlebury, MIT, Amherst, and Colby, as well as Virginia's Christopher Newport.

In the Purple Valley Invitational last season, Williams placed second behind Massachusetts-Lowell. 

No. 10 Dickinson Invitational 

The Red Devils had three strong showings to open the 2013 season. They captured the Misericordia Invitational team title, claiming the top 10 spots and 12 of the top 13 places in the season opener. A week later the Devils ran to a remarkable 17th consecutive Little Three Championship, holding on to the Napoleon Cannon with a dominant performance.

Tenth-ranked Dickinson is set to host the Dickinson Long Course/Short Course Invitational on Saturday. The meet will be held at Big Spring High School in Newville, Pa.

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