ROCK HILL, S.C. – Kentucky will compete at the NCAA Southeast Regional, hosted by Winthrop on Friday. The name of Friday’s game will be qualifying for the NCAA Championships, to be run on Saturday, Nov. 17 in Madison, Wisconsin.
The women’s 6,000-meter race is scheduled for 11 a.m. ET, and the men’s 10k will go off at noon.
The top-two 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 2018 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.
On the men’s side and No. 16 Eastern Kentucky, No. 20 Furman are the teams ranked in the USTCCCA Coaches top-25.
In the women’s competition, No. 11 NC State and No. 16 Furman are ranked.
The Furman men’s team and NC State women’s team were Southeast Region Champion in 2017.
Men’s team outlook
The UK men’s cross country team placed third at the Southeastern Conference Championships two weeks ago.
Ben Young placed fifth with an 8k personal best 23:03.58 to earn First Team All-SEC honors for the first time in cross country.
Patrick Schaefer turned in an inspired run to place 18th in 23:34.08 sixth best among rookies to earn SEC All-Freshman team. Brennan Fields, Kendall Muhammad and Matthew Thomas rounded out UK’s top five at SECs.
The UK men’s squad is ranked No. 7 in the Southeast Region entering Friday’s competition.
The UK men’s team placed eighth at the 2017 NCAA Southeast Regional Championships in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Women’s team outlook
The UK women’s cross country team placed eighth at the Southeastern Conference Championships two weeks ago.
Caitlin Shepard was UK’s top finisher, 19th overall with a 6k time of 20:01.77 at SECs. Rachel Boice was UK’s No. 2 placer, while Kelli Walsh, Sarah Michels and Madisyn Peeples rounded out UK’s top-five scorers at the SEC Meet.
The UK women’s squad is ranked No. 9 in the Southeast Region going into Regionals.
The Kentucky women’s team placed 11th at NCAA Southeast Regionals in 2017.
Cross country refresher
Points are scored in cross country corresponding to finishing place. The place of each of the top five finishers on each team are added up and the team with the lowest total wins. Placers outside a team’s top five cannot score so finishers on other teams that might finish behind a team’s No. 6 or No. 7 finisher can get a point total fewer than their overall place in the race.