The Arizona State men's and women's cross country teams are running on distinctly different tracks as they enter this weekend's Pac-10 meet at Randolph Park in Tucson: The women are rolling; the men are muddling along.
The women's team, ranked No. 5 in the nation, is "running fantastic," said coach Louie Santana, who guides both teams.
The women are hoping to upend perennial Pac-10 champ Stanford, the nation's No. 2 team.
"We certainly have a chance to win the meet," Quintana said.
The Sun Devils will be led by the defending individual champ, senior Amy Hastings. "She'll have to be on top of her game.
"Even if we finish a close second, it bodes well for the rest of the season."
The team is shooting for a top four national finish at the national meet, Nov. 21 at Terre Haute, Ind., which would give them a team trophy.
"That would be a big deal," Quintana said.
The men's team, ranked No. 11 to start the season, got off to a rocky, injury-marred start and are just now rounding into form.
"You can't lie to the cross-country course," Quintana said. "You have to be somewhat fit to run well.
"We've definitely taken our lumps."
Still, he's hoping for a top-four finish (the Sun Devils were No. 2 in the conference last season), then will try to qualify for the nationals with a top-four finish at the regional meet Nov. 12 at Stanford.
The Devils have two runners, Casey Burchill and Ryan Wannenburg, who have a shot at a top-10 finish on Saturday.
"That increases your odds of doing well," Quintana said.