INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- The Northern
Arizona University women were announced as one of the 13 at-large
selections as the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s
Track and Field Committee announced the team and individual
qualifiers for the 2008 Division I Men’s and Women’s
Cross Country Championships. The NAU men’s team gained one of
18 automatic bids by way of their second place finish at the
Mountain Region Championship Saturday.
Thirty-one teams were selected to participate in each championship. The top two, seven-person teams automatically qualified from each of the nine regions, for a total of 18 teams. Thirteen additional teams were selected at-large.
“We had a strong feeling, but until you actually see it you’re still nervous just sitting around all day waiting for 5:00,” said Head Cross Country Coach Eric Heins. “We obviously feel really good having both the men and the women in.”
The Lumberjacks are the only teams from the Big Sky going to the NCAA meet, and the only team from the Mountain Region to send both their men’s and women’s squads. This is the second consecutive year that NAU will have both teams in the race. In 2007 the men finished fourth overall and the women took seventh.
Indiana State University will host the Championships, November 24, at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course located at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind. The women’s race will begin at approximately 12:08 p.m. Eastern time, followed by the men’s race at 12:48 p.m. Both championship races will be broadcast live on CBS College Sports Network and streamed online via NCAA.com.
Returning to Indiana to lead the Lumberjacks is sophomore David McNeill who claimed All-American honors as a rookie with his 10th place national finish. At the Pre-National meet on October 18 in Terre Haute, McNeill took second, and has backed that up with comfortable Big Sky and Mountain Region championships.
“David is a super competitor, and he’ll go in there and run his style of race,” stated Heins. “Obviously there are some really talented guys across the country, but he can certainly run with those guys and make it close at the end.”
The NAU women return only one runner who scored at last year’s championship, sophomore Astrid Leutert. But the women also ran the course in October and have handled the pressure of each big race well.
Heins says both teams will be up for it. “Anytime you go to the national championships, it’s a new experience, but it’s something we’ll talk about and prepare for this week, not only physically, but mentally as well.”
March 5, 2009 Cross Country Named Mens and Womens All-Academic Teams
January 29, 2009 Seven Runners Earn Big Sky All-Academic Honors
November 24, 2008 NAU Men Finish Sixth at NCAA Cross Country Championships
November 23, 2008 Lumberjacks set for NCAA Cross Country Championships
November 20, 2008 Sophomore McNeill Given Regional Honor
November 15, 2008 Dual Top-Three Finishes for Cross Country
November 12, 2008 Mountain Region Championships Await Cross Country
November 5, 2008 Heins Named Big Sky Cross Country Coach of the Year
November 1, 2008 Cross Country Repeats Sweep of Big Sky Championships
October 30, 2008 Cross Country Ready to Defend at Big Sky Championships
October 29, 2008 German Addition Pohl Helping Cross Country
October 21, 2008 McNeill, Pohl Named Big Sky Athletes of the Week
October 18, 2008 Cross Country Takes Second and Tenth at Pre-Nationals
October 16, 2008 Cross Country Returns to Championship Site
October 3, 2008 Cross Country Tunes Up at ASU Invite
October 3, 2008 Getting to Know: Cross Country's Nell Rojas
October 2, 2008 Cross Country Ready for Busy Weekend
September 16, 2008 Runners Grab Big Sky Honors
September 13, 2008 Cross Country Teams Take Second at Aztec Invitational
September 12, 2008 Lumberjacks Runners Head to San Diego for Aztec Invite
September 9, 2008 NAU Cross Country's Rojas Athlete of the Week
September 6, 2008 NAU Sweeps George Kyte Classic
September 5, 2008 NAU Cross Country Opens Season at Home Saturday
August 25, 2008 NAU Cross Country Picked to Repeat Big Sky Sweep