Women's Team, Bywater Earn NCAA Spots
Nov. 10, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS - The full fields of participants for next Saturday's NCAA Cross Country Championships was announced this morning by the Division I Men's and Women's Track and Field Committee. The Washington women's team will be heading to Louisville for the year's final race, but the UW men's squad was by most accounts one of the last teams to miss the cut. However, senior Joey Bywater was officially picked to compete as an individual.
The championships will be held at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park on Nov. 17, with the women's race at 9 a.m. Pacific and the men's race at 10:15 a.m.
Thirty-one teams were selected to participate in each championship. The top two teams automatically qualified from each of the nine regions, with Washington hosting the West Region meet yesterday at Jefferson Park Golf Course, for a total of 18 teams. Thirteen additional teams were selected at-large based on a process of examining a team's regular season wins over NCAA qualifiers.
An impressive regular season for the Husky women's team, with strong showings in talented fields at the Greater Louisville Classic and Wisconsin adidas Invitational earlier this year, made their inclusion essentially a formality after the Huskies took fourth at Regionals yesterday behind three top-10 teams.
The women will be making their sixth straight NCAA Championships appearance, their 14th appearance in the last 16 years, and their 19th appearance overall. Coach Metcalf and the Dawgs have finished in the top-three at nationals in three of the past four years, including a runner-up finish last season.
According to the calculations of Flotrack.org, the Husky men's team was the very last team not to make the field of 31. The Huskies finished fifth at Regionals yesterday in their best race of the season. The top-four teams in the West made the cut, but the Huskies did not quite have enough regular season "points" to make it in.
Bywater had perhaps his best race as a Husky to extend his cross country career for one more run. The fifth-year senior finished eighth overall yesterday, the best by a Husky since 2008, to earn one of four individual at-large bids from the west. Bywater last competed at nationals in 2009, when UW finished 18th as a team. He can chase a top-40 finish which would mean a first career cross country All-America honor.