FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – After both
teams claimed their third-straight Big Sky Cross Country
Championship two weeks ago, the Northern Arizona cross country
teams will compete in the NCAA Mountain Regional Championships
Saturday in Albuquerque, N.M., on the campus of New Mexico. The men
will compete on the UNM North Golf Course first at 10:45 a.m. MST,
with the women’s race following at Noon.
“Our expectations for this weekend are to go into the races giving it our best shot to qualify for Nationals,” said Interim Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Eric Heins. “Both teams are going to try and run good strong team races, and most of the individuals on the teams have their own goals in terms of where they would like to place. If they execute those goals then both teams have a good chance of finishing in the top two.”
If one, or both teams, finish in the top two, they will automatically qualify for the NCAA Cross Country Championships on Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind. At-large bids are also at stake Saturday for teams who do not finish in the top two. The announcement for teams receiving at-large bids will be made this Sunday.
The men’s team enters the regional race at the top of the standings, and fourth overall in the nation. The Lumberjacks jumped ahead of Colorado in the week six USTFCCCA regional rankings. The two schools have flip flopped at the top of the polls several times this season.
The women’s squad enters Saturday’s race at No. 5 in the Mountain Region after starting the season at the top of the polls.
Both teams will be going up against some of the best competition that the country has to offer. The men will be running against nationally ranked Colorado (5), New Mexico (12) and BYU (14). The women’s squad will also face stiff competition in Colorado (6), Texas Tech (8), New Mexico (20) and BYU (22).
Traveling to Albuquerque on the men’s side will be juniors Ben Ashkettle, Jordan Chipangama, Kam Holbrook, David McNeill and Jason Pedersen. Sophomores Andrew Belus and Ahmed Osman will also make the trip.
The women’s team will likely be represented Saturday by seniors Veronica Pohl and Nell Rojas, junior Astrid Leutert, sophomores Kortnee Burton, Eliza Gawryluk and Haley Lawrence and freshman Torin Shriver.
Last year the men received an automatic bid for their second-place finish, while the women received an at-large bid when they came in third. McNeill won the men’s race crossing the stripe first in a time of 29:18 in the 10,000m event. Pohl, Leutert and Rojas were All-Mountain Region award winners for their top-15 finishes last year in Fort Collins, Colo.
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February 1, 2010 Nine Cross Country Athletes Named All-Academic Big Sky
December 4, 2009 Heins Named Big Sky Coach of the Year
November 23, 2009 McNeill Finishes Runner Up; Lumberjacks Claim Fourth Place
November 20, 2009 Lumberjacks to Compete at Cross Country Championships Monday
November 18, 2009 McNeill Named Mountain Region Athlete of the Year
November 17, 2009 Lumberjacks Slip in Latest USTFCCCA Rankings
November 15, 2009 Mens Team Receives At-Large Bid to NCAA Championships
November 14, 2009 McNeill Repeats; Men Finish Fourth, Women Seventh at Mountain Regional
November 12, 2009 Cross Country to Race at NCAA Mountain Regional in Albuquerque
November 3, 2009 Mens Team Climbs to No. 4 in Latest USTFCCCA Rankings
October 31, 2009 Lumberjacks Sweep Big Sky Cross Country Championships
October 30, 2009 Big Sky Conference Championship Start Time Pushed Back
October 28, 2009 Cross Country to Run in Big Sky Championships Saturday
October 20, 2009 Chipangama, Pohl Named Big Sky Cross Country Athletes of the Week
October 20, 2009 Lumberjacks Drop in Latest USTFCCCA Polls
October 17, 2009 Cross Country Teams Turn in Solid Efforts at Pre-Nationals
October 16, 2009 'Jack of All Trades by Amy Farnum of NCAA.com
October 15, 2009 Watch The Lumberjacks Compete Live at Pre-Nationals Saturday
October 14, 2009 Lumberjacks Gear Up for Pre-Nationals Invitational
October 6, 2009 Lumberjacks Move Up in USTFCCCA Rankings
October 5, 2009 Cowboy Jamboree Highlights and Interviews
October 3, 2009 Chipangama Leads Lumberjacks to Cowboy Jamboree Men's Title
September 30, 2009 Cross Country to Compete in ASU Invitational and Cowboy Jamboree
September 29, 2009 Lumberjacks Stand Firm in USTFCCCA Rankings
September 22, 2009 Pohl Named Big Sky Conference Womens Cross Country Athlete of the Week
September 19, 2009 Pohl, Chipangama Lead Lumberjacks to Titles at Aztec Invitational
September 15, 2009 Lumberjacks Head West for Aztec Invitational
September 15, 2009 Cross Country Teams in Preseason USTFCCCA Rankings
September 8, 2009 Pohl Claims First Women's Cross Country Athlete of The Week Award
September 5, 2009 Lumberjacks Capture Rain-Soaked George Kyte Classic Titles
September 1, 2009 Cross Country to Host George Kyte Classic Saturday
August 24, 2009 2009 Cross Country Season Preview
August 19, 2009 George Kyte Classic Registration Information
August 17, 2009 McNeill Finishes 24th at World Championships; Lomong Advances
August 14, 2009 Lomong and McNeill to Compete in IAAF World Championships