Medrano, Workman lead strong ISU performances

Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza Near the front: Indiana State University junior Alli Workman maintains a pace near the front of the pack during the women's race of the John McNichols Invitational on Saturday at the Gibson Championship Cross Country Course.

With the NCAA Cross Country Championships returning to the LaVern Gibson Course on Nov. 23? It also means the return of the Under Armour Pre-National Invitational which will be contested starting at 11 a.m. at Gibson Course today.

The Pre-Nationals are designed as a kind of test race for teams who hope to return in November to compete for the national championship. 

There's a total of six races — three for each gender — that will be run from late-morning to early-afternoon. The last two races are open races designated for the eighth-to-12th ranked runners on the participating teams.

The meet will boast some of the best teams in the nation with 11 ranked teams on the men’s side including BYU (2), Colorado (3), Washington (4), Ole Miss (8), Oklahoma State (14), Indiana (15), Iona (21), Arkansas (27), Virginia Tech (29) and Florida State (30). Eastern Kentucky, ranked 25th, is bringing a B team to the meet.

The women will boast 10 nationally-ranked teams like BYU (2), Colorado (3), Michigan (7), Washington (8), Boise State (11), Florida State (11), Ole Miss (17), Illinois (20), Boston College (26) and Oklahoma State (30).

Some of the ranked teams that aren't in the Pre-Nationals did take part in ISU's John McNichols Invitational in September.

The ranked teams are all concentrated in the Blue Races, which start the meet. The women start at 11 a.m., the men at 11:35 a.m.

ISU will compete in the White Races in both genders.

Senior Alli Workman was the leading woman for the Sycamores at the Joe Piane Invitational two weeks ago. Workman ran a career-best 5K time at Notre Dame of 17:53.40, the 16th-best time in school history, which gave her a 38th place finish against staunch competition.

The Trees competed at the Joe Piane Invitational two weekends ago at Notre Dame where the women placed 17th as a team in the Gold Division 5K race. Alli Workman led the way for the women with a time of 17:53.40 while Noah Hufnagel was the leader for the men in the five mile run, placing 28th at 25:00.40.

The Pre-Nationals are the last Division I collegiate meet at Gibson Course until the NCAA Championships in November.

11:00 a.m. — Women's 6,000 Meter Blue Race

Ranked, local and MVC teams participating: No. 2 BYU, No. 3 Colorado, No. 7 Michigan, No. 8 Washington, No. 11 Boise State, No. 11 Florida State, No. 17 Ole Miss, No. 20 Illinois, No. 26 Boston College, No. 30 Oklahoma State, Butler, Loyola, 

11:35 a.m. — Men's 8,000 Meter Blue Race

Ranked, local and MVC teams participating: No. 2 BYU, No. 3 Colorado, No. 4 Washington, No. 8 Ole Miss, No. 14 Oklahoma State, No. 15 Indiana, No. 21 Iona, No. 27 Arkansas, No. 29 Virginia Tech, No. 30 Florida State, Butler.

12:15 p.m. — Women's 6,000 Meter White Race

Ranked, local and MVC teams participating: Indiana State, Indiana, Southern Illinois, Missouri State, IUPUI. 

12:50 p.m. — Men's 8,000 Meter White Race

Ranked, local and MVC teams participating: Indiana State, IUPUI, Southern Illinois.

1:30 p.m. — Women’s 6,000 Meter Open Race 

2:05 p.m. — Men’s 8,000 Meter Open Race.

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