WKU men will begin the Gold 8,000-meter race at 9:30 A.M. (ET) while the women will start the Blue 5,000-meter competition at 11:30 A.M. (ET).
The Hilltoppers are coming off a 10th-place finish (out of 24 teams) in the Commodore Classic on Sept. 15, led by senior Joseph Chebet's first career victory in the 8,000-meter race. Sophomores David Mokone and Sean Hurd also placed top 30 at the meet, finishing 16th and 27th, respectively. In two events so far this season the trio has finished inside the Top 30 both times, with Chebet notching a win at the Commodore Classic and a runner up finish at the Belmont Opener on Aug. 31.
WKU experienced great success in the 2011 Greater Louisville Classic, placing three runners in the Top 10 on its way to a 4th-place team finish. Mokone, the only returnee from last year's Top 10 trio, finished 7th with an 8,000-meter time of 24:12.19.
The Hilltoppers will be one of 31 teams in Saturday's field that features 12 schools from BCS conferences plus two teams inside the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll Top 10. Sixth-ranked Texas and eighth-ranked Iona headline the deep pool of competitors.
The Lady Toppers look to improve on a 12th-place finish at the Commodore Classic. Through two meets this season, both ran at Percy Warner Park in Nashville, Tenn., WKU has been led by senior Vasity Chemweno and freshman Lindsey Hinken. Hinken led the Lady Toppers in the Belmont Opener, crossing the line at 22nd place in the 4,000-meter race. Chemweno took home the team-honors at the Commodore Classic, finishing 45th in the 6,000-meter event.
Chemweno has run well at Tom Sawyer Park in the past, finishing 9th and 22nd in the 2010 and 2011 Greater Louisville Classic races.
The Lady Toppers will be one of 49 schools competing, with No.10 Arkansas being the top-ranked team in the event.
While this weekend's races will be another barometer to gauge where the Hilltoppers and Lady Toppers are at in the midpoint of the season, it will also be a warm-up for the Pre-Nationals (Oct. 13) and NCAA Championships (Nov.17), which are also held at Tom Sawyer Park.