7 CCC Teams, Tech's Scott Minor, Earn Berths in NAIA Cross Country National Championships
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) released the team and individual qualifiers for the 2011 NAIA Men’s and Women’s Cross Country National Championships on Monday.
The 56th annual men’s and 32nd annual women’s event will take place at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, Wash., on Nov. 19. The men’s 8K championship race will start at 10:30 a.m. PST, followed by the women’s 5K run at 11:45 a.m. Presenting sponsors of the event include Nike, Les Schwab Tires, Red Bull, Verizon, PowerBar, Bank of the Cascades, and Activate Drinks.
After winning its first-ever national championship, Southern Oregon is aiming for a second title. Armed with the reigning individual titlist, Kennedy Kithuka, Wayland Baptist (Texas) will look to take home its first banner after a runner-up finish last year. Oklahoma Christian’s Silas Kisorio won the title in 2009 and will be running alongside Kithuka, racing to the finish line.
The 32-team men’s field features 21 conference/independent/unaffiliated group champions, one conference/independent/unaffiliated group runner-up and nine at-large selections. Concordia (Ore.) received a host berth to the event. There are also 100 individual qualifiers.
Cal State San Marcos will take a run at winning its third-straight women’s national title, while two-time runner-up Biola (Calif.) eyes a shot at taking home the banner for the first time in program history. Eastern Oregon sophomore Karlee Coffee, the 2010 NAIA Women's Cross Country National Championship runner-up, will be looking for her first individual title with the field wide open.
The 32-team women’s field features 22 conference/independent/unaffiliated group champions, one conference/independent/unaffiliated group runner-up and eight at-large selections. Concordia received a host berth to the event. There are also 105 individual qualifiers.
The Cascade Collegiate Conference is one of the strongest conferences in the country when it comes to cross country, and this year's field bears that out. A total of seven CCC programs -- four on the men's side, three on the women's -- plus seven individuals secured berths in this year's championship.
In addition to Southern Oregon and Concordia on the men's side, other CCC team entries include College of Idaho and Eastern Oregon. Individuals from the CCC include Seth Bridges and Matt Porter of Northwest (Wash.) and Scott Minor of Oregon Tech.
On the women's side, CCC champion College of Idaho is joined by Northwest Christian (Ore.) and host Concordia (Ore.) as full teams qualifying for the championships. The CCC had a total of five individual qualifiers on the women’s side -- Karlee Coffey of Eastern Oregon, Seena Frantz and Alexandra Rudd of Southern Oregon, Paige DeLapp of Northwest (Wash.), and Courtney Welling of Corban (Ore.).
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