Participants unwilling to partake in Memorial

Mark Pawlak

The last time the ISU cross country program hosted a meet was the NCAA Championships in harsh weather conditions November. The horrible weather conditions included a wind chill of 19 below zero.

The Iowa State Memorial meet scheduled for October 13th has been canceled, but it’s not the weather conditions that have led to the cancellation.

The Cyclone men and women’s cross country teams will not host the event this year because of a lack of other teams willing participation by. The event was scheduled for the same time as the NCAA Pre-Meet.

The pre-meet is held by the same school that hosts the championships, Furman University in Greenville, S.C.

“With how the at-large selection process happens for going to nationals, the Pre-Meet, which is traditionally on that date and hosted at the site of the national meet, has become such a huge thing to a lot of teams,” said women’s head coach Dick Lee. “It’s the only place they look at going.”

Men’s head coach Kevin Bourke said another factor that may contribute to the teams not wanting to visit Ames is that many teams made two trips to Ames last year and wanted to change their schedules .

With a large number of quality teams not within an easy traveling distance of Ames, some are choosing to go to the pre-meet instead of Ames or other meets, Lee noted.

“We’re not the only meet that weekend that has struggled to attract teams,” Lee said. “There have been some other meets in the East that they’ve had to change their dates or cancel their meet also.”

Bourke said having to cancel the meet was disappointing to the Cyclone head coaches.

“We’ve had that meet for over 20 years,” he said. “It’s been a tradition for us to have that meet in October. With having the NCAA last year, it was really hard for us to get teams in.”

Instead, Iowa State will travel to the Chili Pepper Festival in Fayetteville, Ark.

“As much as I would love to stay home and have a home meet at that time of the year, I also feel that our team needs the best competition we can get .That’s why we’re going to Arkansas,” Bourke said.

Friday’s ISU Open will be the only meet of the season that the Cyclones host.