Ole Miss Set for Historic Day at NCAA Championships
Nov. 17, 2016
OXFORD, Miss. – For the third straight year an Ole Miss team will run for a national title and for the first time in program history, two Ole Miss teams will run for a national title when the Ole Miss men's and women's cross country teams head to Terre Haute, Indiana, on Saturday for the NCAA Championships. The men will be making their third straight appearance while the women will be making their first in the 31- year history of the program.
The NCAA Championships will take place Saturday at the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course. The women will run a 6K at 10 a.m. CT, and the men will follow with the 10K at 11 a.m.
"Any time you finish your season with a trip to Terre Haute you have a good reason to be excited," Ole Miss coach and USTFCCCA Men's South Region Coach of the Year Ryan Vanhoy said. "Both teams are looking forward to racing and competing hard for Ole Miss."
The 11th-ranked men join Arkansas as the only SEC men's teams to earn three straight NCAA berths while being the only two SEC representatives the past two seasons.
Ole Miss' ticket was punched when they won the NCAA South Regional a week ago.
For the second straight season, five All-Region runners led the way for the Rebels in seniors MJ Erb, Wesley Gallagher, Craig Engels and Robert Domanic and junior Sean Tobin. Domanic became the first Ole Miss runner to receive All-Region honors four times.
The men will look to improve on their 30th-place finish a year ago in their second ever appearance.
The Ole Miss women will conclude their historic season in Terre Haute after a close second-place finish at the NCAA South Regional, which earned them their first ever ticket to the NCAA Championships.
The 21st-ranked women will join Arkansas, Mississippi State and Missouri as the SEC representatives in the women's race.
"The ultimate goal at the beginning of this season was to make it to the NCAAs, and to be able and say we've accomplished that is awesome," senior Mary Alex England said. "For us to have this season during my senior year has been amazing and I couldn't ask for a better way to end cross country."
England will be running in her final race as a member of the Ole Miss cross country team on Saturday.
"I'm excited for us to race against the best schools in the country, a lot of which we've never raced before," England said. "I am also pretty pumped for the course because it will be muddy and cold, and those uncontrollable factors are my favorite part about cross country."
The weather in Terre Haute for Saturday calls for a high of 45 and a low of 27, with wind gusts in the lower 20s.
Just like the men, the women will be represented in Terre Haute by five All-Region runners. The five runners who earned All-Region honors at the 2016 NCAA South Regional matched the total number of All-Region honors the program had received in 31 seasons prior.
Seniors Mary Alex England and Bo and Britt Ummels were joined by juniors Emily Bean and Shelby Brown on the All-Region list a week ago. They'll be joined in Terre Haute by sophomore Anna Braswell and junior Hannah Christen.
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