Nov. 13, 2008
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
The University of Louisville men's and women's cross country teams will travel to Winston-Salem, N.C. for the 2008 NCAA Southeast Regional Championships on Saturday, Nov. 15 at Tanglewood Park.
The event will begin at 11a.m. ET, with the women's 6,000 meter race which features 45 institutions and one nationally ranked team from across four different states, including Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, and will be followed by the men's 10,000-meter race at 11:45 a.m. featuring three top 30 men's teams. The top two teams and four individuals in each race will earn automatic bids to the 2008 NCAA Championships on Nov. 24 in Terre Haute, Ind.
"We're optimistic about the upcoming regional championship and it is one of the most competitive regions in the country," said U of L head coach Brice Allen. "We have prepared for this race based upon this season's schedule as well as previewing the course in early September."
The Cardinal men will be looking for a return trip to the NCAA Championships after finishing second at last year's regionals held at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer Park and ninth at the NCAA Championships. It won't be easy as U of L must get by the likes of No. 13 Virginia, No. 17 William & Mary, and No. 18 North Carolina State, the 2007 regional champion.
"The region is extremely competitive and we are looking to gain experience from this championship meet," said Allen. "I feel the men are prepared for this race."
Louisville has had two weeks off to prepare after finishing eighth at the BIG EAST Championships, a year removed from capturing their first title. They enter the meet led by redshirt-freshmen Matt Hughes and junior Scott McClain who finished one-two, respectively, for the Cards at the BIG EAST race. Hughes placed 22nd in his first ever BIG EAST event. Joining the duo will be Matt Bruce, Luke Lovelace, Chase Violet, and Gordon Dooley all newcomers to the regional event for U of L.
"I am hopeful Scott McClain
will be top 30-35 in the region and that Matt Hughes
will vie for an All-Region performance," said Allen. "I will look at those two guys to lead the squad as they have done all season."
On the women's side, the Cardinals are coming off a seventh place finish at the BIG EAST Championships, one spot better than the previous year, and are led by junior standout Tarah McKay who earned All-BIG EAST accolades for the third consecutive year as she completed the 6k course in 20:51 to earn a 10th place finish. Despite the outcome Louisville knows the challenge that lies ahead if they want to overcome the 11th place finish from a year ago with No. 30 Wake Forest and also a talented Duke squad who was runner-up at last year's regionals leading the women's field.
"We are working towards continual improvement and look for our women to move up from their 11th place finish last year," said Allen. "I believe we are in great position to do that and break in to the top 10 on the women's side, which would be a program first."
McKay, an All-Region Performer last year, enters the meet having already captured two individual titles and will be joined by Emily Borsare who also earned All-Region accolades in 2007 as they form the one-two punch for the Cards. Rounding out the lineup will be Kim Grieshaber, who was U of L's third finisher after missing a little more than a month due to illness, Kelsey Page, Kortni Dukes, Kathryn Long, and Kat Alcorn.
"We are hopeful that Tarah McKay and Emily Borsare will continue to lead us as they have earlier this season and we feel fortunate that our women's team is healthy," said Allen. I am optimistic that we will have a better showing from the BIG EAST Championships as we have battled through a myriad of injuries. Monday's workout was the best they have had collectively since I have been here."
The Cardinals will vie for a spot in the NCAA Championships to be held at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course on Nov. 24 in Terre Haute, Ind.
Click here for more information on the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships.