The Oregon Cross Country squad kick-off their season Friday at 10am at Springfield Golf Club, leading the charge at the annual Bill Dellinger Invitational. The women enter Friday's contest ranked #2 in the country, while the men line-up ranked #8 in the U.S.
Both the men and women will have three runners among their ranks who competed for the Ducks at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 2016. Katie Rainsberger headlines the women's squad, coming off a fourth place showing at nationals last year. She's joined by fellow national competitors Jessica Hull and Emma Abrahamson. The women seek to defend their national title this season.
On the men's side, Tanner Anderson is the top returnee for the Ducks, having placed 68th in 2016. Sam Prakel and Travis Neuman should run side-by-side with Anderson, while freshman Cooper Teare adds depth to the team, as arguably the nation's top freshman entering the season.
Joining the Ducks at the Springfield Golf Club Friday morning are Pac-12 rivals Stanford and Washington, Oregon State, Portland and others. The match-up against Stanford is of particular intrigue, as the Cardinal are ranked second in the nation on the men's side and fifth in the nation on the women's.
Both the men's and women's races will feature three top 11 ranked teams. BYU (#6) joins Stanford and Oregon in the men's race, while Washington (#11) will race Oregon and Stanford on the women's side.