Davis & Elkins College will host the annual Mountain State Forest Festival college cross country meet Saturday at the Harpertown Athletic Complex.
Seven teams are entered in the 2012 event. The women's race is scheduled for 10 a.m., with the men's race to follow at 11 a.m.
Besides the host Senators, the visiting teams include the University of Charleston, Glenville, Fairmont, Ohio Valley, West Virginia Wesleyan and Gannon of Pennsylvania.
All-Conference candidate Tommy Boone leads D&E in the meet. Boone just missed first-team honors last season and is enjoying a strong early season.
The Senators are coached by Will Shaw, who is in his 29th year as the head coach of Davis & Elkins.
Besides coaching D&E to multiple WVIAC titles during his college tenure, Shaw also coached a multitude of standout runners at Elkins High School in the 70s and early 80s.
Gannon comes in as the favorite, having just won the five-team Gannon-Mercyhurst Invitational last weekend. Their women defeated runner-up Penn St.-Behrend by 10 points behind the freshmen one-two combo of Veronica Bujdos and Nicole Bubie. The Gannon men defeated runner-up Lake Erie by 17 points behind top runner Brian Svoboda.
Among the WVIAC schools attending, Charleston star Debbie Amos should be the top challenger to the Gannon pair. Wesleyan's top female in week one was Rachael Hulett, a freshman from Preston High.
Wesleyan's men won the Griffin Invitational last week at Seton Hill. They will likely be without their top two runners this week in Skyler McCoy and Luke Finley, who are nursing illnesses.
Glenville's T.J. Abel, a native of Grafton, is the league reigning 800-meter champion and is also a very solid performer in cross country. Ohio Valley comes to town with a strong rookie as well in Richwood native Andrew Shaffer, who won the Class AA individual title at last fall's sate high school meet.
Awards go to the top two teams and top 15 individuals in the competition.