Top-10 Cross Country teams set for NCAA Championships
WHAT: 2016 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships
WHEN: Nov. 19 at 4:30 a.m. AST (men) and 5:45 a.m. AST (women)
WHERE: Saint Leo, Fla. - Hosted by Saint Leo University and Tampa Bay Sports Commission on The Abbey Golf Course
LIVE RESULTS: http://results.leonetiming.com/xc-leone.html?mid=113
LIVE VIDEO: http://www.ncaa.com/
DIGITAL PROGRAM: www.ncaa.com/gameprograms
NOTES: 32 men’s and 32 women’s teams qualified for the NCAAs ... the top three individual finishers from each region who were not part of a qualifying team automatically qualified for the championships ... in addition, all individual competitors who finished in the top five overall places in their respective regional meet and are not a member of a qualifying team automatically advanced to the championships ... full results for UAA at the NCAAs on page 3 of release.
WEATHER REPORT: The projected forecast for Saturday in Saint Leo, Fla., is a temperature around 80 degrees and clear skies.
UAA AT THE NCAAs: The Seawolves have qualified both the men’s and women’s teams to the NCAAs for the ninth straight season, while the men’s squad will make its 13th overall appearance and the women will make their 11th ... the UAA men’s team holds a program-best 3rd-place showing from 2012 and 2015, while the women’s fourth-place finish in 2013 is a program best ... the men finished in third place last season, while the women grabbed eighth place at the NCAA Div. II Championships.
NATIONAL POLLS: The UAA cross country teams saw improvments in regional and national polls following their sweep of the GNAC Championships ... the men’s team moved up into the second spot in the West Region Poll and No. 6 in the national coaches poll ... the Seawolf women remained third in the West Region Poll, but rose to No. 11 at the national level.
2015 NCAA RECAP: Buoyed by five All-Americans and four top-10 finishers, both nationally ranked UAA cross country teams finished in the top 8 at the 2015 NCAA Div. II Cross Country Championships, Nov. 21 at Tom Rutledge Cross Country Course in Joplin, Mo. ... the No. 3 men’s team secured a third-place spot on the podium with 138 points ... the men equaled their program-best finish at the national meet, when the team finished third in 2012 ... No. 4 Colorado Mines took home its first national championship with 100 points by beating runner-up Adams State (127 pts) ... UAA finished in the top-8 for the sixth straight season ... individually, then-sophomore Henry Cheseto – a two-time West Region Men’s Athlete of the Year – became a two-time All-American following his third-place performance ... senior Dominik Notz cracked the top 10 (8th, 29:59.4) and became a two-time All-American ... Edwin Kangogo was named an All-American when he crossed the line in 30th (30:24.5) ... on the other side, the No. 12 women finished in 8th place ... Adams State – who was No. 2 coming into the race – upset No. 1 Grand Valley State for the national title ... this marked the eighth consecutive season in which the women’s team has finished ninth or better on the big stage ... then-sophomore Caroline Kurgat and 2013 All-American Joyce Chelimo finished 6-7, respectively ... Kurgat crossed the tape in a 6K-time of 20:14.4 and earned All-American status for the first time ... Chelimo ran alongside her teammate for most of the race and finished in 20:17.1.
WEST REGION CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP: The UAA men’s and women’s cross country teams earned the right to compete at the NCAA Div. II Championships for the ninth consecutive time behind six All-West Region performances in Billings ... Chico State – who swept the CCAA Championships – took home both the men’s and women’s team titles ... the Wildcat’s William Reyes ran to victory with a 10K time of 29 minutes, 45.16 seconds in the men’s competition ... Cal State San Bernardino’s Laura Aceves advanced to the national meet following a 6K win of her own, in 20:55.95 ... both runners secured West Region Athlete of the Year honors in the process ... the No. 6 Seawolf men – who earned the West Region title over Chico State in 2015 - finished runner-up to the No. 4 Wildcats, 45-81 this season ... UAA and CSU joined a total of five men’s teams to compete at the national meet out of the West Region ... finishing 3-5 were No. 9 Cal Poly Pomona (90 points), unranked Academy of Art (156 pts), and No. 16 Cal Baptist (156 pts) ... Reyes led teammates Kyle Medina (30:04.96) and Falco Digiallonardo (30:05.35) for a 1-3 Wildcat finish ... All-American Edwin Kangogo – the GNAC Runner of the Year and winner at the 2016 GNAC Championships – piloted four Seawolves who cracked the top 25, each securing spots on the All-West Region team ... Kangogo crossed the line as the fastest Seawolf behind the Chico State trio in fourth (30:07.58) ... senior Michel Ramirez placed inside the top 10 in eighth place (30:26.12) ... two-time West Region Athlete of the Year Henry Cheseto followed for UAA in 11th (30:32.92) ... wrapping up the race with All-West Region accolades was senior Victor Samoei, crossing the finish chute in 24th position (30:57.21) ... senior Michael Mendenhall completed the scoring for the Green & Gold (34th, 31:12.57), just ahead of teammate Justin Carrancho (36th, 31:14.65) ... Nathan Kipchumba also competed for UAA, ending the day in 52nd (31:44.12) out of 168 finishers ... in the women’s competition, six spots were available this year for teams to advance to nationals from the West Region ... all six nationally ranked teams competing in the event were able to advance to the national championship ... Nationally-ranked No. 7 Chico State edged No. 16 and GNAC runner-up Simon Fraser, 70-103 ... the No. 11 Seawolves were close behind in third with 111 points ... the other teams heading to the NCAAs are No. 18 Point Loma Nazarene (124 pts), No. 23 Cal Poly Pomona (164 pts), and No. 9 Cal Baptist (185 pts) ... Cal State San Bernardino’s Aceves and Alaska Anchorage’s Caroline Kurgat took control roughly two-thirds into the 6K race and sprinted within meters of one another down the home stretch ... Aceves (20:55.95) – the CCAA champion – found a little extra energy, edging Kurgat (20:59.01) – the GNAC champion – by three seconds ... both Aceves and Kurgat broke the course record of 21 minutes, 6.59 seconds, set in 2014 by Western Washington’s Katelyn Steen ... the 2015 West Region Athlete of the Year Joyce Chelimo finished in seventh (21:22.87) ... Kurgat and Chelimo each made the All-West Region team ... UAA’s other scorers each finished in the top 40 – sophomore Zennah Jepchumba (29th, 22:13.48), Soldotna native Danielle McCormick (35th, 22:26.47), and junior Tamara Perez (38th, 22:28.53) rounded out the final score ... Wasilla’s Mariah Burroughs (65th, 22:54.39) and Anchorage’s Kaitlyn Maker (72nd, 23:01.20) also competed for the Green & Gold amongst the 204 finishers.