Cross Country | Thursday, September 30, 2010
Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational Set for 36th Annual Event
More than 1,140 Runners will Compete on Saturday, Oct. 2
SALEM, ORE. -- It has become one of the significant events in Salem each year. Just as the Art Fair, State Fair and other annual activities have gained a place in the Capital City, so has the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational made a name for itself over the years.
The cross country meet, now in its 36th year, is one of the largest college meets on the West Coast each season. It takes advantage of the beautiful scenery of Bush's Pasture Park and the excitement of a finish in McCulloch Stadium to make for not only a big running event, but also a great event for the competitors and fans.
And it honors the memory of a tremendous and respected former coach in Willamette's Charles Bowles, who passed away in 2005. Bowles was known for his highly successful cross country and track and field teams, as well as the annual Willamette Invitational in both sports.
This year, the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational is a major event once again, with more than 1,140 entries and teams from nine states and one Canadian province. Teams are entered in the meet from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, Hawaii, Alaska, Tennessee, Nebraska, British Columbia, and Montana.
A total of 49 college teams from all three NCAA divisions, the NAIA and the NJCAA will be competing, along with six club teams and a number of unattached athletes. The list of participating teams includes 24 nationally ranked squads -- 13 men's teams and 11 women's teams.
Competition will begin with the Men's Cardinal 8-kilometer race, featuring teams and runners from NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III, at 9:30 a.m. (PDT). The Women's Cardinal 5-kilometer race, also showcasing runners from all three divisions of the NCAA, will follow at 10:15 a.m.
The Men's Gold 8-kilometer race, with runners from the NAIA, junior colleges and club teams, plus unattached runners, is set to begin at 10:50 a.m. The Women's Gold 5-kilometer race, which also will include NAIA, junior college and non-collegiate runners, is slated to get underway at 11:35 a.m.
Willamette Dean of Campus Life David Douglass will be the honorary starter for the Cardinal Races.
Nationally ranked NCAA Division I men's teams with entries in the Cardinal 8-kilometer race are the University of Oregon, ranked #3, and the University of Portland, ranked #9. Men's teams ranked in NCAA Division II include Chico State (Calif.), ranked #5, the University of Alaska-Anchorage, ranked #15, and Western Oregon University, ranked #20. The men's teams participating from the NCAA Division III rankings are Whitworth University, ranked #28, and Willamette, ranked #32.
Willamette is ranked #3 in the West Region of NCAA Division III. Top runners for the Bearcats so far this season have been Leo Castillo (Jr., Parkdale, OR/Hood River Valley HS), Stefan Redfield (Sr., Sisters, OR/Sisters HS). Castillo won the Willamette Grass Course and placed second at the Pier Park Invitational. Redfield earned second place at the WU Grass Course and was fourth at Pier Park.
The Men's Gold 8-kilometer race will feature six nationally ranked NAIA teams. They are Southern Oregon University, ranked #2, the University of British Columbia, ranked #6, Eastern Oregon University, ranked #16, Lewis-Clark State College, ranked #18, Vanguard University (Calif.), ranked #21, and California Baptist University, ranked #24.
Four nationally ranked women's team will participate in the Cardinal 5-kilometer race. Ranked teams competing from NCAA Division II are Alaska-Anchorage, ranked #3, and Chico State, ranked #5. Teams ranked in Division III are Lewis & Clark College, ranked #16, and Whitworth, ranked #20.
The Willamette women's team is ranked #5 in the West Region. Kimber Mattox (So., Bend, OR/Bend HS/Cornell Univ.) and Kaitlin Greene (Jr., Pullman, WA/Pullman HS) have been the leading runners for WU through the early meets on the schedule. Mattox took first place at the Willamette Grass Course and finished third at the Pier Park Invitational. Greene achieved third place at the WU Grass Course.
In the Women's Gold 5-kilometer race there will be seven nationally ranked NAIA teams. The list includes Biola University (Calif.), ranked #1, Concordia University (Ore.), ranked #6, Point Loma Nazarene University, ranked #9, Southern Oregon, ranked #12, British Columbia, ranked #13, Eastern Oregon, ranked #16, and Lewis-Clark State, ranked #18.
Admission to the Charles Bowles Invitational is free. Spectators are asked to be cautious near the course and to avoid interfering with participants. Although most of the course will take runners throughout Bush's Pasture Park, all of the races will finish inside McCulloch Stadium.
36th Annual Charles Bowles Invitational
Saturday, Oct. 2., 2010
At Bush's Pasture Park, Salem, Ore.
Schedule of Events
9:30 a.m. - Men's Cardinal Race (8K), NCAA Divisions I, II, III
10:15 a.m. - Women's Cardinal Race (5K), NCAA Divisions I, II, III
10:50 a.m. - Men's Gold Race (8K), NAIA, junior colleges, club teams, unattached
11:35 a.m. - Women's Gold Race (5K), NAIA, junior colleges, club teams, unattached