Kentucky Cross Country Set for Southeast Regional Championships
NCAA Southeast Regional Championships
Date & Time
Friday, Nov. 11 | Women: 11 a.m. | Men: Noon
Earlysville, Va. | Panorama Farms
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – NCAA Championship spots will be on the line when the Kentucky cross country teams contest the Southeast Regional Meet at the University of Virginia’s Panorama Farms course, Friday.
The women’s 6,000-meter race will start at 11 a.m. ET. The men’s 10k is set to begin at noon.
FlashResults.com will handle timing.
The name of Friday’s game will be qualifying for the NCAA Championships, to be run on Saturday, Nov. 19 in Terre Haute, Indiana.
The top-2 teams at each regional championship punch an automatic bid to NCAAs.
In addition to the 18 automatic bids coming from the nine regional meets to be held around the nation on Friday, another 13 at-large bids will be extended Saturday based on 2016 competition résumés – based largely on head-to-head.
The top-four individual regional finishers not on advancing teams automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships. Individual at-large bids can also be extended. Those at-large bids will be announced with the full NCAA Championships field on Saturday.
The southeast region includes all Division I universities in Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
The host Virginia men’s team is the highest-ranked team in the USTFCCCA national rankings at No. 16. NC State is ranked No. 27, while Virginia Tech and Kentucky received votes.
On the women’s side, NC State is the lone region team ranked in the national poll at No. 2, while William and Mary was the only other school to receive votes.
Kentucky within the southeast region
Kentucky’s women’s team is ranked No. 3 in the southeast region.
Kentucky’s men’s team as aforementioned is receiving votes in this week’s USTFCCCA national coaches’ poll. The Wildcats are ranked No. 4 in the southeast.
USTFCCCA Regional Cross Country Rankings are determined subjectively by a single member coach in each respective region. The regional representative is tasked with weighing returning teams strength with current season results (if applicable) in determining predicted team finishes at the NCAA Regional Championships.
Each team’s first five finishers place counts toward team score. The next two runners may displace runners from opposing teams. First place is worth one point, second place two points, etc. Low score wins.
Jacob Thomson led Kentucky to a ninth place (224 points) finish at the NCAA Southeast Regional last year. Thomson finished 10th individually, and earned Kentucky’s first men’s individual at-large bid to NCAAs since 2012.
Katy Kunc led the way for the UK women’s team, which finished 11th with 304 points at 2015 regionals.
UK has not qualified for the NCAA Championships as a team since the women’s squad did so in 2008. The Kentucky men’s team last made NCAAs in 2003 – placing 28th with 642 points.
Cally Macumber was the last UK women’s team member to earn an automatic individual bid in 2013.
Wildcats to watch
The objective Friday will be getting five, really seven, Wildcats across the finish line as fast as possible. Simple enough.
For the UK men’s team Thomson appears poised to lead the way for UK’s men’s team. He placed 10th at this meet a year ago, and will be buoyed by a second-straight All-SEC performance at the Conference Championships, two weeks ago.
He was also named Southeastern Conference Cross Country Cross Country Athlete of the Year, Tuesday.
Mick Iacofano is coming off one of the best runs of his life, as he helped the UK men’s team place third overall at SECs – the team’s best finish at that meet since 1992. Ben Young, Kendall Muhammad and Daniel Southard also contributed to the UK team score at SECs, while Matthew Thomas and Brennan Fields earned SEC All-Freshman team honors.
For the UK women’s team Kunc earned the result of her life, to date – the SEC Bronze Medal – two weeks ago.
Caroline McCaslin placed in the top-25 at SECs, while Amy Hansen and Avery Bussjager placed in the top-50.
For the most in-depth coverage of the UK cross country and track and field program follow the @KentuckyTrack social media channels on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook as well as on UKathletics.com.