Nov. 16, 2009
INDIANAPOLIS - The University of New Mexico men's and women's cross country teams both received at-large bids to the NCAA Championships the selection committee announced on Sunday evening. The women will make their second straight trip to the NCAA meet, while the men return to nationals for the first time since 2004. It's the first time in school history that both teams have qualified for the NCAA Championships in the same season.
The 12th-ranked Lobo men secured their place in the Championship field with a third place finish in Saturday's Mountain Regional meet at the UNM North Golf Course. It's the fifth time New Mexico has sent it's men's team to nationals. UNM has finished among the top-15 three times, including a program-record ninth place in its last appearance five years ago.
The No. 20 UNM women had a more anxious wait after finishing fifth at the Mountain Regional, but eventually received the third at-large bid awarded to the powerful region. It's the first time New Mexico has ever made back-to-back appearances at the NCAA Championships. The Lobos finished 18th last year in their first trip to nationals since 1985. This will be the fourth NCAA appearance for UNM as a team. New Mexico also competed at the AIAW National Championships in 1976 and '78.
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.
Thirty-eight individuals were selected to participate through an automatic qualifier and at-large selection process. All individual qualifiers finished in the top 25 in their region.
Indiana State University will host the Championships on Monday, Nov. 23, at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute, Indiana. The men's race will begin at approximately 10:08 a.m. Mountain time, followed by the women's race at approximately 10:58. Both championship races will be broadcast live on VERSUS Network and streamed online via NCAA.com.