The Washington cross country team will welcome a number of schools to the Washington Invitational on Saturday for its last home meet of the season.
The invite brings some new and challenging opponents for both the men and women’s team to face, including Pac-12 rival Oregon and Ivy League competitor Harvard.
Oregon is currently ranked No. 3 in the country, and has been the school to beat for years.
“For us, [the Ducks] are kind of the measuring stick right now, and so we want to go see how we stand up against them,” head coach Greg Metcalf said.
The Huskies will also face another conference foe in Washington State for the second time this season, giving the men’s team a chance at redemption after its second place finish behind WSU two weeks ago at the Sundodger Invite.
Juniors Johnathan Stevens and Fred Huxham did not compete when the Huskies last faced the Cougars. Stevens will return to run in the Washington invite, but whether or not Huxham will compete will be a “day-of decision,” according to Metcalf.
While the meet will be a good preview of some Pac-12 teams’ abilities, the Huskies are hoping to continue their success this week while also preparing for the postseason.
“I think it’s a really good opportunity to see where we’re at,” junior Amy-Eloise Neale said. “We had a really good race at Sundodger and we looked pretty strong for so early in the season.”
In the short cross country season, Washington has its sight set on one goal: the national championship.
“We’re shooting for a national championship this year, we just have to get all the right pieces at the right time,” junior Andrew Gardner said.
The invitational will take place at Jefferson Park Golf Course and begin with the women’s 6,000-meter race at 11 a.m., followed by the men’s 8,000-meter race at 11:45 a.m.
Reach reporter Carly Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @carlyfries83