Kearney, Neb. – The ranked Nebraska-Kearney women’s cross country team has reached the NCAA Championships for the first time in school history.
Late this afternoon the 23rd-ranked Lopers received one of 10 at-large bids to the national meet, held in University Place, Wash., on Friday, Dec. 2nd. In Division II the top three teams in each of eight regions receive automatic bids to the NCAA’s with 10 more spots up for grabs.
UNK was in good position to make the trek West after a fourth place showing at the NCAA Central Regional meet this past Saturday in Joplin, Mo. A team’s “body of work” throughout the fall and regional finish were determining factors on who received the 10 at-large spots.
The Loper women have been close to qualifying several times before, namely 2004, 2007, and 2021, with Kaci Lickteig (2006) and Morgan Benesch (20015 and 2016) qualifying as individuals. Back in 1987, then-Kearney State reached the NAIA National Championships, finishing 20th overall.
The 15th-ranked UNK men were region runners up, thus receiving one of the three auto bids from the Central. They are in the NCAA’s for a second straight season and for a 10th time overall.
The men will run at 10k at noon Central on Dec. 2 with the women’s 6k race set for 1:15 p.m. Central from Chambers Creek Regional Park. Seattle Pacific is hosting the “Fall Festival” Dec. 1-3.
Source: Regional Sports
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