NCAA Announces Cross Country Championships Participants
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Three Pac-10 men's teams and four women's teams were selected to participate at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, the NCAA announced Sunday afternoon. Three more individuals were also selected as at-large participants. The teams and individuals will compete for the national championship on Monday, Nov. 22 in Terre Haute, Ind.
The OREGON men's team won the NCAA West Regional meet on Saturday, Nov. 13 to claim an automatic bid into the national championship. Pac-10 Champion STANFORD also earned a berth for finishing in second place at the regional. CALIFORNIA, who placed third at the Conference and West Regional races, joins the Ducks and Cardinal as an at-large team.
A pair of individuals also earned at-large entries. ARIZONA's Stephen Sambu placed second at the West Regional and will also get a chance to compete for an individual crown. ARIZONA STATE's Ben Engelhardt placed 13th overall and was the fourth-highest runner to cross the finish line at the West Regional whose team did not receive a bid for the NCAA Championships.
Four Pac-10 women's teams will be competing for a national championship next Monday. As the West Regional Champion, WASHINGTON nabbed the automatic bid, while Oregon claimed the second automatic berth on Saturday. Stanford and Arizona also received at-large nods and are headed to Terre Haute. The Wildcats finished third and the Cardinal placed fourth at the West Regional meet. At the Pac-10 Championships, the four squads finished within six points of each other with Stanford claiming the Conference title.
Individually, Cal's Deborah Maier also earned an entry for the national championship and will be competing for the individual title.
The last time Pac-10 teams won the NCAA team titles were in 2008 when the Ducks claimed the men's crown and the women's title was won by the Huskies. In 2008, UO's Galen Rupp was the national champion, the Conference's first individual champion since 1997. The last women's individual champion was Tara Chaplin from Arizona. The Wildcats are the only Pac-10 team to have claimed the individual women's title, with Amy Skieresz claiming the Conference's first crown in 1996.