Nov. 19, 2015
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WHAT: The Boise State men's and women's cross country teams will compete in the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships this Saturday, Nov. 21 at the E.P. Tom Sawyer Park in Louisville, Ky. The women's race will go off at 10 a.m. (MT) and the men will start an hour later at 11 a.m.
Both the men and women will be making their second-ever team appearances to nationals - the men qualified in 1996, the women last year in 2014 - but this will mark the first year in school history that both teams qualified in the same year. The women's team enters the championships as the No. 8 team in the country while the men are slotted at No. 26.
WHERE: The E.P Tom Sawyer Park has been home to the NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Championships on five previous occasions (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2014), and once before was the site of the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships in 2012.
WATCH AND FOLLOW: To watch the live webcast provided by the NCAA, click HERE. To follow along with live scoring throughout the day, click HERE.
THE FIELD: 31 teams were selected to participate in each championship. Both the men's and women's sides will include 18 teams who automatically qualified and 11 more teams who qualified with at-large bids.
A full list of all the teams can be found HERE.
WEST REGION HONORS: The USTFCCCA announced on Tuesday that Allie Ostrander was named the NCAA Division I West Region Women's Athlete of the Year and head coach Corey Ihmels was named the West Region Women's Coach of the Year. Ostrander is the first Bronco to nab the honor since Emma Bates in 2013, and Ihmels now has won two-consecutive West Women's Region Coach of the Year honors.
PAST EXPERIENCE AT NATIONALS: The women's team finished 11th at last year's NCAA Championships thanks to two All-America performances from graduated seniors Emma Bates (3rd) and Marisa Howard (28th). The team finished with 392 points and was the second-place Mountain West team, losing to only New Mexico (3rd - 188 points).
The men's team's only other appearance in nationals came in 1996 when they took eighth as a team with 223 points. Jose Uribe was the top finisher for that team, taking 11th with a time of 31:02. Josh Danielson (31:35) and Cormac Smith (32:03) were the second and third scorers, respectively, for the Broncos.
POTENTIAL TO REWRITE RECORD BOOKS: With Ostrander regarded as one of a few athletes who could seriously vie for the individual title, the Kenai, Alaska native will look to become the second athlete in NCAA Division I Women's Cross Country history to win as a freshman. The feat last occurred 30 years ago in 1985 when NC State's Suzie Tuffey claimed the title.
As for Boise State history, there has only been one Bronco freshman individual national champion - Bill Shaw in 1974 in skiing (slalom), who was also the school's first national champion.
IHMELS' SUCCESS IN LOUISVILLE: The only other time the NCAA Division I Cross Country national Championships was in Louisville, Ky., at the E.P. Tom Sawyer Park was in 2012. Ihmels coached the women's individual national champion that year, Betsy Saina (Iowa State). Saina ran a 19:27.9 on the 6-kilometer course, which is also the fastest women's time in NCAA Championships' history.