Excitement Builds for 44th Annual Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational

Michael Montague (Jr., San Diego, CA/Canyon Crest Academy)
Michael Montague (Jr., San Diego, CA/Canyon Crest Academy)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

SALEM, Ore. -- The Willamette University cross country teams are ready for their home meet that is always a highlight of the season. For those who have been around Bearcat cross country for decades it's probably hard to believe, but it's almost time for the 44th Annual Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational, which will be held on Saturday, Sept. 29 at Bush's Pasture Park. The event is one of the largest cross country meets on the West Coast each season.

Former Willamette head coach Charles Bowles died in 2005, but his commitment to cross country still has an impact at this meet each year. Willamette is proud to continue the tradition again this season.

This year's Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational will feature runners from throughout the western United States and Minnesota who will be competing in four races. There will be 33 four-year colleges and universities represented, along with 11 junior colleges and one club team. This year's four races will include a total of about 800 athletes, with well over 150 runners in each race, including a high of 227 in the Women's Cardinal 5-kilometer race.

Action will get underway with the Men's Cardinal 8-kilometer race at 9:30 a.m. (PDT). The race will include teams from NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III. The Women's Cardinal 5-kilometer race is scheduled to begin at 10:20 a.m. with teams from all three NCAA Divisions.

Following the Women's Cardinal race, the focus will shift to NAIA, junior college and club teams with the Men's Gold 8-kilometer race and the Women's Gold 5-kilometer race. The Men's Gold race is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., with the Women's Gold race set for 11:50 a.m.

Most of the colleges and universities will compete in a men's race and a women's race. The exceptions are Oregon State University and Point Loma Nazarene University (Calif.), which will be participating in women's races only.

Admission to the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational is free. Spectators are asked to be cautious near the course and to avoid interfering with participants. Although most of the course will take runners through Bush's Pasture Park, all of the races will finish inside McCulloch Stadium.

44th Annual Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational
Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018
Bush's Pasture Park, Salem, Ore.

Schedule of Events

9:30 a.m. - Men's Cardinal 8K Race
NCAA Divisions I, II, III

10:20 a.m. - Women's Cardinal 5K Race
NCAA Divisions I, II, III

11:00 a.m. - Men's Gold 8K Race
NAIA, Junior Colleges, club teams, unattached

11:50 a.m. - Women's Gold 5K Race
NAIA, Junior Colleges, club teams, unattached

Participating Teams
(Men and Women unless otherwise indicated)

NCAA Division I
Boise State University (Idaho)
Lipscomb University
Oregon State University - women
University of Portland
Portland State University

NCAA Division II
Central Washington University
Concordia University (Ore.)
Humboldt State University (Calif.)
Point Loma Nazarene University (Calif.) - women
Saint Martin's University (Wash.)
Seattle Pacific University (Wash.)
Western New Mexico University
Western Oregon University

NCAA Division III
Augsburg University
George Fox University
Lewis & Clark College
Linfield College
Pacific University
Pacific Lutheran University
University of Puget Sound
Whitman College
Whitworth University
Willamette University

Corban University
Eastern Oregon University
Multnomah University (Ore.)
Northwest Christian University (Ore.)
Northwest University (Wash.)
Oregon Institute of Technology
University of Providence (Mont.)
Simpson College (Calif.)
Soka University (Calif.)
Warner Pacific University (Ore.)

Junior Colleges
Clackamas Community College (Ore.)
Clark College (Wash.)
Everett Community College (Wash.)
Green River College (Wash.)
Lane Community College (Ore.)
Mount Hood Community College (Ore.)
College of the Redwoods (Calif.)
Community Colleges of Spokane (Wash.)
Southwestern Oregon Community College
Treasure Valley Community College (Ore.)
Umpqua Community College (Ore.)

University of Oregon Running Club