|Follow PSU Cross Country:||Follow @PennStateTFXC|
|Colin Abert||Lisa Bennatan|
|Victoria Crawford||Jillian Hunsberger|
|Greta Lindsley||Tim McGowan|
|Kathryn Munks||Noemie Noullet|
|Danae Rivers||Alison Willingmyre|
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women’s cross country team, as well as Colin Abert and Timothy McGowan, will travel to Louisville, Ky. for the 2017 NCAA Cross Country Championships this Saturday, Nov. 18 at the E.P.'Tom' Sawyer State Park Cross Country Course.
The 2017 NCAA Cross Country Championships are hosted by Louisville and will be contested on theE.P.'Tom' Sawyer State Park Cross Country Course.
This is the third-time Penn State has competed in the NCAA Championships when Louisville has hosted dating back to 2012.
The highest finish by a Penn State women’s team on the 6K course in Louisville, Ky. is a 14th-place finish in 2012.
The women’s race will start at 9:00 a.m. ET while the men's race is slated to begin at 10:00 a.m. ET, with the awards ceremony being held following the conclusion of the men’s championships.
On the women’s side, No. 10 Penn State will compete against the best in the nation including the defending champion Oregon Ducks along with current top-five teams No. 1 Colorado, No. 2 New Mexico, No. 3 San Francisco, No. 4 Stanford and No. 5 NC State, who all automatically qualified for this weekend at their respective regional meets.
Live Results by Record Timing are available on NCAA.com or by clicking this link. The meet will be streamed by Flo Track with access for those who have a current account.
Led by 2016 All-American Jillian Hunsberger, five of the eight student-athletes traveling on the women's team this weekend have prior NCAA Championships experience. Jillian Hunsberger will be making her fourth-straight NCAA Cross Country Championships following two trips as a team in '15 and '16 and an individual run in the 2014 NCAA meet.
Five newcomers to the NCAA meet, Noemie Noullett, Danae Rivers, Alison Willingmyre, Colin Abert and Timothy McGowan– will be making their championships debut but are no strangers to the big stage following strong performances at the Mid-Atlantic Regional.
LAST TIME OUT
The women's team captured the team title by 29-points over runner-up Villanova (60) to grab one of the two auto-qualifier spots to the NCAA Championships in Louisville, Ky. The men’s team finished the season with a strong showing finishing fifth with a team score of 125 that was just 22-points short of qualifying for the NCAA Championships.
Eight student-athletes earned All-Region honors for their efforts on the course Friday morning. Five Nittany Lion women (Hunsberger, Willingmyre, Munks, Rivers, and Lindsley) and three Nittany Lion men (T. McGowan,
For the women's team, as has been the case all season long, Penn State was led by Jillian Hunsberger with her second-place finish in 20:05.4.
Following Hunsberger, it was a tight pack as the Nittany Lions put all five scorers in the top-10 of the entire meet. Alison Willingmyre (20:15.1), Kathryn Munks (20:15.8), Danae Rivers (20:17.6), and Greta Lindsley (20:21.6) crossed the tape in fifth, sixth, eighth, and 10th-place, respectively.
The Penn State men's team saw Timothy McGowan lead the way, posting a time of 30:40.1 finishing sixth overall at the meet, while Colin Abert posted a ninth-place finish (30:43.5) - both were selected for an at-large bid to run individually at the NCAA Championships.
LAST YEAR AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
For the first time in the NCAA era, Penn State had two athletes earn All-American honors at the NCAA Cross Country Championships Saturday afternoon in a crisp Championship run.
Junior Elizabeth Chikotas paced the Lions with her 15th-place finish while junior Jillian Hunsberger took home 36th-place, both career-best finishes at the NCAA Championships while earning the duo All-American honors – the 15th and 16th All-Americans in Penn State cross country program history.
Following up the All-American performances by Chikotas and Hunsberger were Greta Lindsley in 140th (21:00.8), true freshman Kathryn Munks in 177th (21:15.2) and Julie Kocjancic in 204th running 21:31.7 to round out scoring for the Nittany Lions.
Also competing for Penn State were Victoria Crawford finishing 240th in 22:30.4 and 2015 cross country All-American Tessa Barrett.
The women's team finished 18th-place with a score of 465 on the day. Penn State has finished in the top-20 in back-to-back seasons for the first time since ’11-‘12 and in the top-20 for five out of the last seven NCAA Championships that Penn State has participated in dating back to 2009.
The Penn State women’s cross country team enters this weekend ranked No. 10 in the national coaches’ polls. The women captured the Mid-Atlantic Region championship last week in Bethlehem, Pa. for the third-consecutive season.
Penn State cross country head coach John Gondak was announced as Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year for a third-straight season. Award winners were voted upon by USTFCCCA member coaches.
Gondak receives the honors following the Mid-Atlantic Regional meet last week at Lehigh University that saw Penn State turn in the most dominating performance at any regional meet in the country as the Nittany Lions put their top-five in the top-10 to automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships.
This is the third-consecutive year Gondak has earned USTFCCCA Mid-Atlantic honors after receiving the award last year when his team captured the Mid-Atlantic at home in University Park and in 2015 as the Lions took the title following their championship run at the Big Ten Championships in Chicago, Ill.
The Penn State women's cross country team tallied a 16th-place finish at the 2015 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships and finished 18th at last season's meet. The Penn State women have competed in eight of the last nine NCAA meets as a team. The Pen State men's team will be represented at the NCAA meet for the first time since 2014 when Matt Fischer represented the Nittany Lions at the meet.
For more on Nittany Lion cross country, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.