Aug. 31, 2011
The Washington State University men's and women's cross country teams will start the season with the Clash of the Inland Northwest, competing against teams from Eastern Washington, Gonzaga, and Idaho at Mead High School in Spokane...the 4200m women's race begins at 10 a.m. and the men's 6,200m race will follow at 10:30 a.m....the event is being hosted by Eastern Washington...results will be available on the official WSU Athletic website, wsucougars.com, when available post-race.
LEADING THE WAY
Cougar cross country head coach Pete Julian returns for his third year coaching at WSU...he came to WSU from Metropolitan State College of Denver where he had a highly successful career as the cross country head coach for four seasons, as well as the track and field head coach for three...in his brief time at WSU, coach Julian has recruited many young student-athletes that he believes to be very strong runners, most of which will be returning for the 2011 season...preseason regional rankings from the USTFCCCA put the men at eighth in the west region and the women at fifteenth...Tim Riley will return to serve as Julian's volunteer assistant coach for his third season.
WHAT COACH JULIAN EXPECTS THIS SATURDAY
"Idaho will definitely be a challenge to us... probably more of a challenge than we would welcome at this time of the year. They have a really strong women's team. Their women were WAC champions last year. And they have more or less everyone back. So I think that will be a good test for our women to see if we can run with them. I'm kind of curious to see where we are, just because they are more of an experienced team.
"On the men's side, Idaho has two really strong men up front, whereas we have maybe ten strong men - but maybe not the two front-type runners. I think for us to win on the men's side will be quite a challenge.
"As with a preseason football game, we've got to put our `Tom Brady's out there to take a couple snaps, you know? Our number one offense will be out there for both the men and women. Unfortunately I just don't think we can pull them in the second quarter.
"If you don't bring your A-game, you will get beat - you might still get beat. We don't like to lose, so we aren't going to purposely throw a half-hearted team in there.
"We will have a pretty good battle on our hands."
COACH JULIAN'S GOALS FOR SATURDAY'S RACE
"We started practice today, so when we go into the meet this weekend we will have trained together as a team for five days - with no workouts or anything of that nature. The goal of this meet is just to kind of get a preseason sort of `get the cobwebs off,' get them into that racing mode because they've just been putting in mileage all summer long.
"However, the Inland Northwest is pretty competitive for distance running, so we can't just use it as a tune-up, because certainly we want to win."
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