ISU Cross Country Teams Ready for NCAA Championships
AMES, Iowa - For the first time since 1995, both Iowa State cross country teams will compete in the NCAA Cross Country Championship Monday in Terre Haute, Ind. Indiana State University will play host to the Championships at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course located at the Wabash Valley Family Sports. The men's 10,000-meter race will start at 11:08 a.m. CST. The 6,000-meter women's race will start at 11:58 a.m. CST. Head coach Corey Ihmels is excited to have the opportunity to lead his team on collegiate cross country's biggest stage.
"I think anytime you can bring both teams together to (NCAA Championship) is a great thing for the whole program," Ihmels said. "It is something we've stressed since day one. We are one program, and having the ability to bring both teams is really exciting. It's a great opportunity for both sides, and I think everyone is really excited to get there."
Both teams received at-large bids after finishing third, respectively, at the NCAA Midwest Regional championship in Columbia, Mo. All-American senior Guor Marial and All-American junior Hillary Bor lead the Cyclone men. All-American seniors Lisa Koll and Grace Kemmey will lead the Cyclone women.
The Big 12 Conference will be well represented. On the men's side, Iowa State will run along side Colorado, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas. The women's will compete against Baylor, Colorado and Texas. Iowa State is one of 18 programs to run both the men's and women's teams at the NCAA Championships. Colorado is the only other team in the Big 12 to send both teams to Terre Haute.
"I think anytime you can be talked about in the same sentence as Colorado and what they've done in the sport of cross country just speaks volumes about the progress we've made," Ihmels said. "We've got a long way to go, but I think we've progressed and gotten better since the (Big 12 Championship). Our goal is to go out on Monday and run the best race we've run this year and hopefully everyone does that on the same day."
In the final USTFCCCA rankings of the year, the Cyclone women are ranked No. 18 and the men are ranked No. 24. Both championship races will be broadcast live on Versus Network and streamed online via NCAA.com. Results will be posted on cyclones.com.