Five Teams Make NCAA Cross Country Field
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Five additional teams have been invited to compete at the 2011 NCAA men's and women's cross country championships, the NCAA selection committee announced Sunday, joining five Pac-12 teams that had already qualified on Saturday at the regional meets. Three men's teams in all and seven women's teams will be vying for a national championship.
On the men's side, Washington State will be competing at the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. It is the first Cougar team to run at the national meet since 2006. WSU placed fourth at the NCAA West Regional hosted by Stanford on Saturday. They were the second-highest Pac-12 team in the West Region standings.
Individual runners invited to the race from the Pac-12 were Arizona's Lawi Lalang, the Pac-12 individual champion two weeks ago, and Oregon's Luke Puskedra.
In addition to the three Pac-12 women's teams that already clinched a spot at the NCAA Championships, ARIZONA STATE, CALIFORNIA, OREGON and STANFORD received at-large berths to the race. The Cardinal, Ducks and Golden Bears finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively, as Pac-12 teams swept the top-five spots at the west regional meet. ASU was seventh in the standings.
UTAH's Amanda Mergaert was extended an invitation to run at the national meet as an individual, as well.
The COLORADO men placed second at the NCAA Mountain Region competition to clinch an automatic berth into the national meet. The Cardinal captured the West Region title to claim its own bid yesterday.
In the women's competition at the west regional, WASHINGTON and ARIZONA were first and second, respectively. The Buffs tied for first in the mountain regional for their automatic berth.
The Colorado men and women swept the Pac-12 Championship crowns two weeks ago in Litchfield Park, Ariz.
The NCAA Championships are being held on Monday, Nov. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind.