Nov. 16, 2009
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
The no. 24 ranked University of Louisville men's cross country team fresh off its third place finish at the Southeast Regional Championship has earned an at-large bid to the 2009 NCAA Championships as announced by the Division I Men's and Women's Track and Field Committee Sunday evening.
A total of 31 teams were selected to compete in each championship. The top two, seven-person teams automatically qualified from each of the nine regions, for a total of 18 teams. The Cards were one of 13 additional at-large teams selected to the field.
This is the third bid to the NCAA Championship for the men's team and first since 2007 when they finished as runner-up at the regional championship to earn an automatic bid into the national championship, where they finished ninth out of 31 teams. In addition, this is second year head coach Brice Allen's first time that he has advanced his team to the national championship.
Louisville finished third out of a field of 35 teams this past weekend at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships. No. 8 William and Mary won the event for the second straight year and along with no. 16 North Carolina State, who finished second, earned the two automatic bids from the region. The Cards finished ahead of no. 30 Duke and no. 19 Virginia in fourth and fifth place, respectively, who also earned at-large bids to the national championships, giving the Southeast Region a total of five teams in the field.
U of L had three members selected to the All Region team; Cory Thorne who finished eighth, Michael Eaton in 16th overall and Matt Bruce in 24th place.
Senior Tarah McKay of the women's team finished third out of 237 competitors at the regional championship to earn her first individual automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. This marks the third time she has qualified for the event, with the past two times coming via at-large selections in 2008 and 2006.
A total of 38 individuals were selected to participate in each championship through an automatic qualifier and at-large selection process. Those individuals had to finish in the top 25 in their region.
The 2009 NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships will be hosted in Terre Haute, Ind. on Nov. 23 at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course. The men's race will begin at 12:08 p.m. ET and will be followed by the women's race at 12:58 p.m. Both races will be nationally televised on Versus Network and streamed online through NCAA.com.
For a complete list of qualifiers and more information on the 2009 NCAA Cross Country Championships, click here or visit www.ncaa.com.
For the most up-to-date information on Louisville Cross Country, visit www.uoflsports.com.