Three WAC cross country athletes have qualified for the 2011 NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana on Nov. 21. Idaho's Hannah Kiser, New Mexico State's Courtney Schultz and Utah State's Brian McKenna will represent the WAC at the championship meet.
All three athletes also received USTFCCCA All-Region honors on Monday.
Indiana State will host the Championships on Nov. 21 at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course located at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center. The men's race will begin at approximately 10:08 p.m. MT, followed by the women's race at approximately 10:58 p.m. A live webcast of the championships will be broadcast from 10 to 11:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 21, 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, Dec. 18 from 11:00 to 12:00 p.m. on CBS HD.
Hannah Kiser, So., Idaho
MOSCOW, Idaho –(UI Media Relations) Hannah Kiser’s outstanding sophomore season will continue.
The University of Idaho sophomore from Wenatchee, Wash. (Wenatchee HS) earned an individual at-large bid to the 2011 NCAA Cross Country Championships, announced Sunday. She learned her fate following her 18th-place finish at Saturday’s NCAA West Region Championship. She will be Idaho’s first NCAA Cross Country Championship participant since 2004.
“It’s an amazing accomplishment for our program, and Hannah has worked so hard for this,” Idaho director of track and field/cross country Wayne Phipps said. “She really deserves this chance to compete at the highest level.”
Already this season, Kiser claimed the individual title at Oregon’s Dellinger Invitational and the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational, and was the top collegiate runner at both the Sundodger Invitational and Inland Northwest Cross Country Classic.
She earned First-Team All-WAC honors with a second-place finish at the WAC Championships, despite battling heat illness throughout the race, and last weekend, earned her first career All-Region honor from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
“She’s taken some big steps from being competitive in cross country to being a conference champion in track, then making it to the NCAA first round last year in track,” Phipps said. “I think the confidence she gained from last year in track has definitely carried over to this season.”
The meet, which takes place Monday, Nov. 21, at Terre Haute, Ind., will be Kiser’s second career NCAA foray. She was a qualifier last year as a true freshman in the 5000m during the outdoor track and field season, and finished 32nd in the first round.
The last time Idaho was represented at the NCAA Cross Country Championships was in 2004, when the women’s team, led by Letiwe Marakurwa and Mary Kamau, earned an at-large bid and earned the first top-25 finish in program history.
“Cross country, percentage-wise of total competitors, is the toughest sport to make it to NCAAs,” Phipps said. “We’ve had some people get close, but it’s very exciting for our program, and hopefully we can take some more steps forward and get a team there or some more individuals.”
Courtney Schultz, Jr., New Mexico State
PROVO, UTAH- (NMSU Media Relations) The New Mexico State University cross country team competed in the NCAA Mountain Region Championships, with junior Courtney Schultz finishing eighth overall for the women's team.
Schultz's performance at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships, as well as throughout the entire season, qualified her for the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. Schultz was one of only four athletes selected from the Mountain Region to receive automatic bids to the national championship meet, which is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 21.
The women's team finished 10th out of 19 teams in the 6K. The women's team finished better than Utah State and Nevada, which finished 18th and 19th respectively. Utah State and Nevada were the only other teams from the Western Athletic Conference in the Mountain Regional Championship. The women's team also finished above rival UTEP, which finished 14th overall.
Schultz finished first for NM State and eighth overall with a time of 21:09.8. Junior Camille Schultz finished in second for NM State and 28th overall with a time of 21:53.9. Junior Chelsa McDonnell finished third for NM State with a time of 23:09.2.
Brian McKenna, Sr., Utah State
LOGAN -- (USU Media Relations) Utah State cross country senior captain Brian McKenna has the opportunity to finish his final year as an Aggie competing at the 2011 NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. on Monday, Nov. 21, as the field was announced with the at-large selections by the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Track and Field Committee Sunday evening.
This will be McKenna's second time competing at nationals as he also qualified in 2009, finishing 69th out of 250 runners. Additionally, McKenna is only the fifth USU cross country runner to make it to the championships since 2000, joining Trevor Ball (2005), Tiffany Strickland (2005), Mike Nielson (2003) and Ashley Johnson (2003), and is the first two-time selection during that span.
"We are very excited for Brian to earn an at-large selection to the national meet, he is very deserving. It is a tremendous honor for him to be able to run his final cross country race as an Aggie at the NCAA Championships," USU head coach Gregg Gensel said. "He has practiced and worked extremely hard not only this season, but throughout his entire career. For him to earn an at-large selection to the national meet twice in his career is a great reward and acknowledgment for all of his hard work and dedication to cross country."
McKenna received an at-large invitation to compete in the championships after finishing in 10th-place with a time of 30:43.3 at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships on Nov. 12 in Provo, Utah. Joining McKenna from the Mountain Region will be Cameron Levins and Nate Jewkese from Southern Utah as well as Elkana Rotich of Texas-El Paso.