Cross Country: WVU Qualifies for NCAAs
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Following a strong performance at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional over the weekend, the No. 13 West Virginia cross country team received an at-large bid to the 2011 NCAA Championship on Nov. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind.
The Mountaineers came in third place with 64 points at the regional in Princess Anne, Md., falling closely behind No. 2-ranked Villanova and No. 7 Georgetown, who tied for first with 57 points apiece.
“We are thrilled with our selection to the NCAA finals,” says WVU coach Sean Cleary. “We knew that we had been running well the last few weeks, but rankings have nothing to do with being selected. If a team does not run well at the races that ultimately fit the criteria for at-large selection, you are out of luck if you’re not automatically selected.”
Thirty-one teams were selected to participate at nationals, which will take place at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course located at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind. The top two teams from the nine regionals nationwide automatically qualified, while thirteen additional teams were selected at-large.
The Mountaineers’ selection was bolstered by a strong finish at the BIG EAST Championship two weeks ago in which the Mountaineers tied for fourth place with No. 9 Syracuse.
“We are pleased and excited,” Cleary says. “Three of our scoring five runners are fifth-year seniors. Kate Harrison, Ahna Lewis and Kaylyn Christopher have helped us earn three Top 10 national finishes during their time here. What a great way to go out.”
Thirty-eight individuals were selected to participate in each championship through an automatic qualifier and at-large selection process. All individual qualifiers finished in the top 25 of their region.
The men’s 10k race will begin at approximately 12:08 p.m. ET, followed by the women’s race at approximately 12:58 p.m. A live webcast of the championships will be broadcast from noon to 1:30 p.m. ET, Monday, Nov. 21, on NCAA.com. In addition, highlights from the championships will be included as part of the CBS NCAA Fall Seasonal Show scheduled to air on Saturday, Dec. 18 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. ET on CBS HD.
2011 Women’s NCAA Championship Field
* at-large selection
Sean Cleary, WVU Cross Country
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