2010 NCAA Cross Country Championships Preview

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Six BIG EAST men's cross country teams and four women's teams will travel to Terre Haute, Ind. on Nov. 22 for the 2010 NCAA Championships. Georgetown, Louisville, Notre Dame, Providence, Syracuse and Villanova all earned bids on the men's side. Cincinnati junior Eric Finan also was selected to the field as an individual competitor. On the women's side, Georgetown, Providence, Syracuse and Villanova each qualified. West Virginia placed two runners in the field as individual competitors in sophomore Katilyn Gillespie and junior Sarah-Anne Brault.
 
Georgetown earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships on the men's side. The squad finished third at the Mid-Atlantic Regional after a sixth-place finish at the BIG EAST Championships. The Hoyas are led by senior Ayalew Taye, who was named Mid-Atlantic Region Athlete of the Year earlier this week. Taye won the individual title at the Mid-Atlantic Regional. Georgetown finished 22nd at the NCAA Championships in 2009.
 
Louisville earned an at-large selection to the NCAA Championships after a fifth-place finish at the Southeast Regional. The Cardinals had a pair of runners in senior Michael Eaton and junior Matt Hughes earn spots on the all-region team. Louisville also took second at the BIG EAST Championships. The team finished 23rd at NCAA Championships in 2009.
 
Notre Dame is making its 45th appearance in the NCAA Championships since the program started in 1938. The Irish claimed the NCAA title in 1957 at the meet in East Lansing, Mich. The team finished third of 31 teams at the Great Lakes Regional.
 
Providence will compete at the NCAA Championships for the 14th time in 15 years. The Friars are ranked No. 24 in the latest USTFCCCA poll. The team finished third at both the Northeast Regional and the BIG EAST Championships. Junior Lee Carey has consistently been the top performer for PC, including winning the individual title at the BIG EAST Championships.
 
Syracuse won the Northeast Regional to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. The No. 10 ranked Orange boast the Northeast Region Coach of the Year, Chris Fox. SU placed 14th at the 2009 NCAA Championships, the first appearance at the NCAA Championship for the men in 35 years. The team last won the title in 1951.
 
Villanova also earned an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships after finishing second at the Mid-Atlantic Regional. The Wildcats were the highest finishing BIG EAST team at the 2009 NCAA Championships, placing 11th. Then-freshman Matthew Mildenhall led Villanova coming in 32nd.
 
Finan qualified individually after placing first at the Great Lakes Regional. The junior was named Great Lakes Region Athlete of the Year, winning the region by three seconds. He also finished seventh at the BIG EAST Championships.
 
On the women's side, Georgetown earned an automatic berth thanks to a second-place finish at the Mid-Atlantic Regional. The Hoyas also placed second at the BIG EAST Championships. The team is led by junior Emily Infeld, who placed eighth at the 2009 NCAA Championships, helping the team take 21st.
 
Providence earned the lone at-large berth on the women's side. The Friars have qualified for the NCAA Championships for 22-straight seasons. The team currently ranks No. 15 in the latest USTFCCCA poll and has finished in the top five in all six of its meets this fall. Providence placed third at the Northeast Regional.
 
Syracuse won the Northeast Regional for the second consecutive season to automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships. The Orange had a program-best 18th-place finish at the 2009 NCAA Championships. Then-junior Katie Hursey, 2009 Northeast Region Athlete of the Year, led the team, placing 64th.  This is the third trip to the NCAA Championships for the women.
 
Villanova won the Mid-Atlantic Regional for the second season in a row. The reigning NCAA champions are led by junior Sheila Reid. Reid won both the BIG EAST and the Mid-Atlantic Regional individual titles on her way to being named Mid-Atlantic Region Athlete of the Year. The Wildcats also boast Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year in Gina Procaccio, who has helped Villanova maintain the No. 1 spot in the country all season.
 
Gillespie and Brault will represent West Virginia at the NCAA Championships thanks to 10th and 16th-place finishes respectively at the Mid-Atlantic Regional. Gillespie has two first-place finishes on the year while Brault has four top-25 marks.
 
Indiana State University will host the Championships on Nov. 22, at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course located at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Indiana.  The women's race will begin at approximately 12:08 p.m. ET, followed by the men's race at approximately 12:48 p.m.  A live webcast of the championships will be broadcast from noon to 1:30 p.m. ET on Monday, Nov. 22, 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, December 18 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Eastern time on CBS HD.