INDIANAPOLIS - Ole Miss senior Martin Kirui has been chosen to participate in the upcoming NCAA Cross Country Championships as an at-large individual qualifier, following a strong performance at the NCAA South Regional on Saturday.
Kirui placed 11th overall at the regional in Tuscaloosa, Ala., running the 10K course in 31:29.8. By finishing among the top 25 runners at the event, the Kenya native earned All-South Region honors for the second straight year.
Rebel women Logan Waites and Katie Breathitt also achieved All-Region status by finishing 12th and 15th, respectively, in Tuscaloosa. However, neither runner was granted a spot at the national meet due to the fact that more individuals who finished ahead of them at the regional were not on qualifying teams. Waites and Breathitt are the first two female All-Region honorees in Ole Miss history.
"We are very proud that Martin will be going to the NCAA Championships, but we're sad for Logan and Katie who have been outstanding for us the whole season," said Ole Miss head coach Joe Walker.
Kirui will make his first appearance at the NCAA Cross Country Championships and the sixth appearance by any runner in school history. His brother, Barnabas Kirui, made three of those six appearances in 2006, 2009 and 2010. Barnabas finished fourth in the nation in 2009.
Waites finishes her career as the most decorated cross country female in school history. She became the first Rebel female to earn All-SEC honors this year and finished the highest by any female in school history at both the SEC Championships and NCAA South Regional. She was twice recognized as the SEC Female Athlete of the Week this season.
Breathitt, a junior, also turned in one of the best seasons in school history. Her 15th-place result at both the SEC Championships and NCAA South Regional are the second-best results by a Rebel female in school history.
Thirty-one teams were selected to participate in both the men's and women's national championship. The top two, seven-person teams automatically qualified from each of the nine regions, for a total of 18 teams. Thirteen additional teams were selected at-large.
Thirty-eight individuals were selected to participate in each championship through an automatic qualifier and at-large selection process. All individual qualifiers finished in the top 25 in their region.
Indiana State will host the Championships, Monday, Nov. 21, at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course located at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind. The men's race will begin at approximately 11:08 a.m. CT. A live webcast of the championships will be broadcast from 11 a.m. to noon CT, Nov. 21, on NCAA.com. In addition, highlights from the championships will be included as part of the CBS NCAA Fall Seasonal Show scheduled to air on Saturday, Dec. 18 from noon to 1:00 p.m. CT on CBS HD.
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