Conference Weekend Preview - trackboundUSA

Conference Weekend Preview

aaronscott

Conference Weekend Preview

As we have explained before, the cross country seasonal structure differs greatly between the UK and NCAA.  The UK cross country season meanders along through the autumn and winter with many different races, leagues, and championships taking place between October and March. Commitments to compete for school, club, county, and country can all make for a long hard season.

This schedule could hardly be more different to the NCAA. The three month collegiate season is essentially split into two halves; regular season and championship season. We are now at the midway point and this weekend’s conference action sees the start of championship season.

In case you need reminding or are new to following collegiate athletics it is worth reiterating what a conference is. Conferences are groups of schools who compete against each other. They are often schools of similar status and size, are there is usually a large amount of geographical proximity between the schools within a conference. There is huge diversity between the different conferences and some a lot stronger than others. This will be clearly reflected in results. Much discussion has taken place in recent years regarding a mass conference shake up. Schools can and do move conferences at times, and although largely football (American) related, it will still have implications across the all other sports. See a recent article we published for further discussion on the conference shake up.

With the basics outlined, we have listed the various conference meets taking place this weekend where known British and Irish interest can be found.

Away from British interest, the PAC-12 promises to be an excellent battle on the men’s side with number 2 Colorado, number 3 Stanford and number 8 Oregon meeting at conference level for the first time since CU’s move. The BIG12 will feature OSU (1), Oklahoma (6) and Texas(7) in another great match-up.

On the ladies’ side, UCLA again appears to be the place to be with PAC12 having Oregon(3), Stanford(4), Arizona(5) and Washington(6) going head-to-head.

These clashes are to NCAA what Man Utd v Liverpool is to English football. They represent the elite of the sport and collect most of the headlines. Elsewhere though, the teams in the mid-major conferences such as the ACC and C-USA will do battle in their attempt to nick points off each other in one last push before Regionals. While the two teams in each Regional meet will automatically qualify, the teams behind will have to rely on advancing through at-large bids earned through points throughout the year. Our alma mater,  Tulsa, finished third last year in the Mid-West, but in being sufficiently consistent across the regular season, they accumulated enough points to gain one of the at-large bids. This year may be a little different as they move much closer to the two state powerhouses of OSU and OU.

It’s not just pride at stake out there, as points means prizes. The prize being a birth at the Big Dance in Louisville in November.

Men
Conference Teams with British or Irish interest
ACC Florida State
Atlantic 10 Butler
Big 12 Oklahoma State
Big East De Paul, Providence
Big 10 Illinois
Conference USA Tulsa
Ivy (Heps) Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard, Yale
Metro Atlantic Iona
Missouri Valley Wichita State
Mountain West New Mexico
Ohio Valley Belmont
SEC Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Mississippi State
Southland Lamar, McNeese State
Sun Belt South Alabama
West Coast Portland
 -
Women
Conference Teams with British or Irish interest
ACC Florida State, Virginia
America East Stony Brook
Atlantic 10 Butler
Big East De Paul, Providence
Conference USA Tulsa, Memphis, UAB
Horizon Butler
Ivy (Heps) Colombia, Cornell, Princeton
Metro Atlantic Iona
Mountain West Utah, New Mexico
NEC Bryant
Ohio Valley Murray State
SEC Arkansas
Southland Lamar, McNeese State
Sun Belt North Texas, Western Kentucky
West Coast Portland

Full reviews will be available once the races are completed; most likely this will be Tuesday of next week.

As always we are doing our best to try and cover all British and Irish athletes as possible in our write ups. However, please do contact us if you know of any omissions.

We will be giving regular updates through Twitter over the course of the weekend too.

 

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