NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma cross country teams travel to the 2013 NCAA Midwest Regional on Friday, Nov. 15, at the Iowa State cross country course in Ames, Iowa. The men’s 10,000-meter race starts at noon CT, followed by the women’s 6,000-meter race at 1:15 p.m. CT.
The top two teams and top four individuals not on an advancing team move on to the NCAA Championships on Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind. Additional teams and individuals are chosen through an at-large selection process following the regional competition.
The meet features teams from 13 conferences including the Atlantic 10, Big 12, Big East, Big Sky, Big 10, Conference USA, Horizon League, Mid-American, Missouri Valley, Ohio Valley, Summit League, SEC and WAC.
The No. 4 regionally-ranked Oklahoma men head into Friday’s meet as defending Midwest Region champions after last year’s first-place finish in Springfield, Mo.
Friday’s field includes three nationally-ranked teams in No. 3 Oklahoma State, No. 13 Tulsa and No. 24 Iowa State. Oklahoma and Minnesota also received votes in the latest national polls.
Abbabiya Simbassa, Brandon Doughty, Patrick Gomez, Dan Schubert, Eric Graf, Kyle Polman, Alex Deir and Jacob Burcham will all be traveling north for the Sooners.
Doughty is the only returning Sooner to race in last year’s event, which was a 39th-place finish.
“This is a very young group in terms of experience,” said Associate Head Coach Jason Dunn. “But we have high hopes for them just based on how well they have trained and progressed this season. I think we have got some guys that are ready to run well.”
The Oklahoma women slated to compete are senior Hilary Krein and freshman Elena Arriaza.
Both the men’s and women’s teams come into the meet following an appearance at the Big 12 Championships, where the men placed fourth and the women finished ninth. Simbassa, Doughty and Krein each earned All-Big 12 honors for OU. Simbassa was also named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year as a result of his Big 12 performance.
“We are excited to be heading to regionals,” said Dunn. “I think the 10k will suit our men well. I feel like we are in a good place; everyone is healthy and ready to go.
“We are where we want to be at this point in the season,” Dunn continued. “We just have to line up and race tough.”
Complete results and a full recap of the race will be available on SoonerSports.com shortly after the event’s conclusion and fans can also follow @OU_Track on Twitter for more information.