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Quakers to host 2011 Fall Classic

Tough field to gather for 19th annual event

October 11, 2011

Runners from 36 colleges and universities will hit the course when Wilmington hosts the 2011 Fall Classic Friday afternoon.

Runners from 36 colleges and universities will hit the course when Wilmington hosts the 2011 Fall Classic Friday afternoon.

The largest and arguably most talented field ever will gather for the 2011 Wilmington College Fall Classic Friday afternoon.

Thirty-six teams are scheduled to compete in the 19th annual event on the WC campus, a list that includes NCAA powers in all divisions, as well as nationally ranked NAIA and junior college teams.

“This is always an important meet for us,” Wilmington head coach Ron Combs said. “It’s in front of our friends, families and all of campus, which makes it very special.”

In the women’s race, Wilmington is ranked No. 10 in the NCAA Great Lakes Region, but will have to contend with the likes of Ohio State.

“Ohio State is going to be tough, no matter who they bring. University of the Cumberlands is ranked in the top 25 in NAIA, and Macomb Community College is ranked No. 2 in the national junior college rankings. And there are great teams from Wittenberg, Wright State and Findlay. It’s a tough field, maybe the toughest ever at our event. We are excited to compete against this caliber of competition,” Combs said.

In the men’s race, Findlay is back after a second-place finish at the 2010 Wilmington Fall Classic. In all, seven of the top 10 teams from last year will be gunning for the title Friday.

“We don’t turn anybody away. We don’t set this thing up for us to get an easy win,” Combs said. “We send the invitations out, and whoever wants to come, the more the merrier. I think the kids like it that way. We’re excited about having that D-I influence and all the other scholarship teams. We like to see how we stack up against not only Division III schools, but all teams in Ohio and other states around us.”

The women’s race will start at 4:30 p.m., followed by the men’s race at 5:15.