INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Northern Arizona men's cross country team has received an at-large big into the NCAA Cross Country National Championship race the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Track and Field Committee announced Sunday. The Lumberjacks were one of 13 teams to receive an at-large bid after finishing fourth at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships.
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.
"Looking at it, I feel relieved because we didn't have a great draw in our Pre-Nats race," Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Eric Heins said. "This shows that we got the job done at the regional championship and we can now focus on the task at hand with the Championship meet and finish as high as we can."
NAU has recorded seven top-10 finishes at the NCAA Cross Country Championships since 2000, including a fourth-place podium visit last season. The team will once again feature the one-two punch of senior David McNeill and junior Diego Estrada.
McNeill made history with his third-consecutive Mountain Region title, and was followed closely by Estrada who finished third overall. It was the seventh-straight top-five finish for the Salinas, Calif., native.
Indiana State University will host the Championships, November 22, at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course located at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Indiana. The women's race will begin at approximately 12:08 p.m. Eastern time, followed by the men's race at approximately 12:48 p.m.
A live webcast of the championships will be broadcast from noon to 1:30 p.m. Eastern time, Monday, November 22, on NCAA.com. In addition, highlights from the championships will be included as part of the CBS NCAA Fall Seasonal Show scheduled to air on Saturday, December 18 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Eastern time on CBS HD.