Brenda Kigen qualifies for NCAA Cross Country National Championships

  • Brenda Kigen qualifies for NCAA Cross Country National Championships

Brenda Kigen qualifies for NCAA Cross Country National Championships

Led by individual Mid-Atlantic Region champion Bella Burda (Pleasant Valley, N.Y.) and a strong pack which placed six runners in the top 20 overall, Villanova finished second at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional on Friday morning to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships next weekend.

Both programs finished fourth on Friday at the NCAA South Regional. The Dawgs rounded out their top five with senior Anna Maxwell in 49th (20:50.8) and freshman Allie Schadler in 66th (21:02.8).

Michael Melgares led the KU men's team in 52nd place, finishing the 10K in 30:11.1.

Senior Kala Kopecek, in her final race, finished in 21:55.2 in 122nd place, while freshman Audrey Lookner took 132nd place in 22:01.7.

Nevertheless, Neale was happy with the performance of the team, who are expected to qualify through the at-large bids on Saturday.

"I'm just excited for her", Auburn assistant cross country and track and field coach David Barnett said of Kigen.

"We really didn't talk much about the weather".

Sophomore Kyle Mau was next in line for IU with a 16th-place finish (31:23.9), followed by junior Joe Murphy in 41st (31:58.6), sophomore Bryce Millar in 44th (32:00.6) and junior Kyle Burks in 73rd (32:53.3). She placed eighteenth overall in the race. "We bought in, and we set goals at the beginning of the season that we would be the first team to nationals, and now we can finally say we are the first teams to go to nationals from Utah State".

"We have had tremendous leadership by our returners", Ricks said.

The NCAA National Championship race will be held on Saturday, Nov. 18, and hosted by Louisville at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park with the women running at 8:45 a.m. (MT) and the men at 9:45 a.m. (MT). UVa's Brent Demarest (29:22.6) was seventh. The individual victor of the men's race was Portland's Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse, who finished nearly six seconds in front second place. "We learned a great deal today and will be better next year because of it".

The Washington men narrowly missed out on winning the whole race, losing to No. 6 Portland by just two points. The women are projected to join them there, and will officially find out on Sunday.