The most efficient way to follow the NCAA Division II national cross country meet is by zeroing in on two Colorado schools, Adams State and Western State, and Grand Valley State of Michigan.
Those three powerhouses are among the 32 men’s and 32 women’s teams set to compete Saturday at the Plantes Ferry Athletic Complex.
The Adams State men are ranked No. 1 and have won four of the last five titles, including last year’s. Western State’s men are ranked No. 2 and won the title in 2011, the last time the meet was held in Spokane. The last time one or both didn’t finish in the top two was 1997.
Grand Valley State is the defending women’s champion and ranked No. 1. The Lakers also won the title in 2010 and placed second the previous two years. Second-ranked Adams State has won 15 titles since 1992, with one streak of eight straight broken up by Western State.
The 6,000-meter women’s race will begin at 10:30 a.m. The men’s 10,000-meter run is scheduled an hour later.
Western Washington, Alaska-Anchorage and Cal State Chico qualified both men’s and women’s teams from the West Region. Other West teams are the Cal Baptist and Cal Poly Pomona men, and the Seattle Pacific and Simon Fraser women.
Western’s men’s roster includes sophomore Isaac Griffith (Lewis and Clark High School) and freshman Logan Giese (Central Valley). Griffith placed 11th at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference meet in Monmouth, Ore., running 8,000 in 25 minutes, 16.5 seconds.
Sophomore Kali Klotz-Brooks (Cheney) and freshman Sofia Marikis (Lakeside-Nine Mile Falls) are on Western’s women’s roster. Marikis placed 30th in the GNAC meet, running 6,000 in 21:57.3.
Tickets for the event are $5.