- For the first time since 1979, the
Northern Kentucky University men’s cross country team has
qualified for the NCAA Division II nationals.
NKU earned a
trip to Pensacola, Fla., and the nationals by placing fourth Saturday
at the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region meet. Four NKU runners
placed among the top 28 finishers in the 10-kilometer event as the
Norse totaled 170 points.
NKU posted the
best finish of any Great Lakes Valley Conference team at the regional
meet. Southern Indiana - which is ranked No. 23 nationally - finished
fifth with a score of 177 and also qualified for the nationals,
which will be held Nov. 18 at Pensacola, Fla., as part of the NCAA
Division II Fall Sports Festival.
finished 17th with a time of 33:01 to lead NKU, while teammate Matthew
Shoulta was 18th in 33:02. Brad Bullock (27th place) and Keith Knapp
(28th place) also ran outstanding races for NKU, which was ranked
No. 7 in the latest Great Lakes Region poll.
The Norse knocked
off both Lewis (No. 6 in the Great Lakes Region poll) and Hillsdale
(No. 5 in the poll) on Saturday to qualify for the nationals.
The top five
teams in the men's event qualified for the nationals. Grand Valley
State won the title by placing five runners in the top 13 finishers.
Wayne (Mich.) State was second, followed by Saginaw Valley State,
NKU and Southern Indiana.
In the women's
six-kilometer event, NKU posted an eighth-place finish with a score
of 256. Julianne Hoekzema led the Norse with a 22nd-place finish
with a time of 22:51. Rose Jepkirui posted a 23rd-place finish in
regional finish in the team standings represented the best in Norse
women's cross country history.
State also won the women's title with a score of 47. Wisconsin-Parkside
was second with a total of 91 points.