Men's Cross Country Set For NCAA Championships
Nov. 22, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. – The NC State men’s cross country team will compete in the 2013 NCAA Championships this Saturday, Nov. 23 at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute, Ind. The men’s 10k race will lead things off at noon, followed by the women’s 6k at 1:15 p.m. A live webcast of the races will be available at www.ncaa.com.
The Wolfpack earned one of 13 at-large bids to the tournament after a strong third place showing at the NCAA Southeast Regional on Nov. 15. Andrew Colley, Graham Crawford and Sam Parsons each took home All-Region honors from that race in helping the Pack earn its eighth straight NCAA Championship appearance.
“From my seat, to see those guys have the opportunity to run in the NCAA Championships is rewarding,” men’s head coach Rollie Geiger said. “It has been a long, tough season and it turned to a positive pretty quickly.”
The Wolfpack returns to the spot where it finished 10th at the NCAA Championships two years ago. Led by NC State three-time All-American Ryan Hill’s 12th place finish and Colley’s 15th place showing, the Pack earned its best finish in the NCAA’s since earning a 10th place nod in 2003.
Earlier this season, Colley captured the title at the ACC Championships with an 8k time of 23:37.9, besting the field by nearly 25 seconds. In his three other races this season, Colley has placed second, third and fourth, respectively, finishing runner-up at the NCAA Southeast Regional two weeks ago.
“This is a sport that you have to be totally committed to in order to be successful,” Geiger said. “Any time you are in the top-25 in the country, you have a solid program. That is kind of a goal to finish top-20 or better. It is like our swim team a year ago when they finished 15th, how exciting is that? If we can go from eighth in the ACC to top-25 in the country, it is a good year.”
In addition to the NC State men, Wolfpack junior Joanna Thompson will also compete at the NCAA Championships as an individual after qualifying at the NCAA Southeast Regional. Thompson’s fifth place finish at the Regional race was good enough to earn her a spot in Terre Haute, where as a true freshman in 2011, she finished in 77th place.
Thompson has led the Wolfpack women’s team in every race this year, finishing with the quickest time in all five races, including three top-10’s and both All-ACC and All-Region accolades.
“She has the opportunity to be All-American which, given her fitness level, would indicate as a very reasonable goal,” NC State women’s head coach Laurie Henes said. “Past that, I think she can finish much higher than All-American. Pretty much every race she has run this year has been in the range where if she runs that at this race she will be All-American. She doesn’t need to do anything out of the ordinary to be All-American, she just needs to be consistent.”
NCAA Championship Info:
LIVE WEBCAST/RESULTS : A live webcast of the NCAA Championships will be available at www.ncaa.com. Live results will be available at via www.branchsportstech.com. Final results will also be posted on www.gopack.com
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS MEN’S RACE: Teams (31): Air Force, Arkansas, Brigham Young, Colorado, Colorado State, Columbia, Dartmouth, Eastern Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, Harvard, Indiana, Iona, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, NC State, Northern Arizona, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Princeton, Portland, Providence, Stanford, Syracuse, Texas, Tulsa, Villanova, Virginia, Wisconsin.
THE COURSE : The LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center was dedicated on October 17, 1997. The land for the course was donated by LaVern Gibson for the development of the facility. Indiana State and Boston Celtics basketball star Larry Bird made a donation to the facility in honor of his father, Joe Bird, and the donation was matched by Max and Greg Gibson in the name of their father and grandfather respectively. The 240 acres of land is a reclaimed coal mine and includes the cross country course, softball, soccer and football fields and an indoor facility.