NCAA Selects At-Large Bids to Cross Country Championships

Men's Team has Automatic Bid; Mattox, Edwards Chosen for Women's Race

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- When the 2010 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships get underway on Saturday, Nov. 20 in Waverly, Iowa, Willamette University will be competing with a men's team entry, plus two runners from the women's team. The 8-kilometer men's race and the 6-kilometer women's race will be held at Wartburg College, which is hosting the championships.

The Bearcats received an automatic bid for the men's team by winning the West Regional on Saturday (Nov. 13). Kimber Mattox (So., Bend, OR/Bend HS/Cornell Univ.) clinched an individual bid by placing seventh in Saturday's women's race. Theresa Edwards (So., Lake Tapps, WA/Bonney Lake HS) was added to the list on Sunday once the at-large team bids were selected.

A total of 32 men's team and 32 women's teams will compete for team titles. Sixteen men's teams, including the West Region champions from Willamette, as well as 16 women's team, earned automatic bids by placing first or second in a regional. An additional 16 men's teams and 16 women's teams received at-large bids.

Also chosen to compete at the NCAA Championships were the top seven finishers in each regional race whose teams did not receive automatic or at-large bids.

The Willamette men's team edged out Claremont-Mudd-Scripps by two points in the team standings to win the West Regional championship. Stefan Redfield (Sr., Sisters, OR/Sisters HS) of WU took second place in the individual results, while Leo Castillo (Jr., Parkdale, OR/Hood River Valley HS) finished seventh and Kevin Aubol (So., Ellensburg, WA/Ellensburg HS) placed eighth.

Willamette and CMS received automatic bids to compete for the men's championship. Whitworth University, which placed third at the West Regional, and Colorado College, which placed fourth, were chosen for at-large bids.

The Willamette men's team is making its 10th consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships under the guidance of Head Coach Matt McGuirk. WU placed fifth in NCAA Division III in 2002 and 2004 and was seventh in 2001. Last year, the Bearcats finished 20th.

Individual runners from the West Region who qualified to run in the men's race at the NCAA Championships were: Eric Kleinsasser of Occidental College, Jeremy Kalmus from the University of Redlands, Ray Ostrander of California Lutheran University, A.J. Licon from the University of La Verne, Charles Enscoe and Alex Johnson from Pomona-Pitzer, and Robin Harkins from the University of Puget Sound.

Automatic women's team qualifiers from the West Regional were the champions from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, as well as the second place finishers from Whitworth. Whittier College, which took third place at the West Regional, received a team at-large bid.

Women's individual runners from the West Region who qualified for the NCAA Championships were: Mattox and Edwards from Willamette, Annie Lyndens from Pomona-Pitzer, Emily Thomas and Illana Livstrom from Lewis & Clark College, Toccoa Kahovec of California Lutheran University and Kristen Ballinger of Whitman College.

McGuirk will be leading one or more Bearcats to the women's championship race for the seventh consecutive year. The Bearcats placed ninth in the team standings in 2004 and 2007. In 2009, Tina Patel '10 competed as an individual.

TEAM AND INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIERS
NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships
Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa
Nov. 20, 2010
Theresa Edwards will join teammate Kimber Mattox in the women's race at the NCAA Championships next Saturday.

Theresa Edwards will join teammate Kimber Mattox in the women's race at the NCAA Championships next Saturday.