Nov. 17, 2011
TEMPE-- The Arizona State University women’s cross country team will compete in its 13th NCAA Championship on Monday, Nov. 21, in Terre Haute, Ind. The Sun Devils were able to make a strong run through the championship season to earn an at-large bid to the event and return to the competition after just missing qualifying for the field last season. The women’s 6,000-meter championship will get underway at around 12:58 p.m. EST, dependent on the preceding men’s 10,000-meter championship.
What You Need To Know
Indiana State will host the NCAA Championships, 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 12:08 p.m. ET, followed by the women’s race at approximately 12:58 p.m. A live webcast of the championships will be broadcast from noon to 1:30 p.m. ET, Monday, 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 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. ET on CBS HD.
Previewing the Field: Women
The NCAA Championships features the 31 best teams in the nation, so there should be no surprises as to how competition the field is. However, the ASU team has seen many of the teams they will be facing off in action, having competed against a good number of them of recent weeks. The Sun Devils are one of seven Pac-12 teams to make the field and squared off against those squads at the Pac-12 Championships in Litchfield Park, Ariz., just a couple weeks ago. Florida State and Villanova look to be the cream of the crop in the team race while Villanova’s Sheila Reid and Oregon’s Jordan Hasay will be among the favorites for the team title. ASU’s Shelby Houlihan could be the top freshman in the field. ASU's lineup will consist of Houlihan, senior Lindsay Prescott, freshman Lacy Bricks, junior Kate Lydy, junior Natasa Vulic, junior Hailey Hanna and freshman Taylor Conway.
Meet History: NCAA Championships
This weill be the 13th time since 1998 that the Sun Devil women have competed at the NCAA Championships. The team has earned trophies in that time twice, finishing fourth in 2005 and 2007. The team has finished in the top half of the rankings (15th or better) eight times and has been a top 10 program on four occasions. Eight Sun Devils have combined to win 11 All-America awards but none have done so since Kari Hardt in 2008. Also, no freshman has ever earned an All-America honor for the ASU Cross Country team, a feat that Shelby Houlihan could be primed to accomplish on Monday.
Step Into My Time Machine: 2009 NCAA Championships
The Arizona State women finished 24th at the 2009 NCAA Championships in their last appearance at the meet. Allie Kieffer paced the Sun Devils with a 49th-place finish. Lindsay Prescott and Kate Lydy were both members of that team as well and will be the experience for the Sun Devils this year.
Last Time Out
The Sun Devil women finished seventh at the NCAA West Region Championships this past weekend in Palo Alto, Calif. Shelby Houlihan again paced the team in finishing 12th overall and as the top freshman in the field in a time of 20:36. The Arizona State men gave a gutsy effort without one of their top runners, finishing eighth overall without Darius Terry. The team’s effort was not quite enough to qualify for the NCAA Championships
Freshman phenom Shelby Houlihan has already looked to be the top freshman in the Pac-12 Conference, finishing eighth at the Pac-12 Championships and in a blistering time of 20:15 and the fastest ASU frosh time at a conference championship ever (though it must be noted that not all courses are the same and thus times can vary). Houlihan was the top freshman again at the NCAA Regional Championships, finishing 12th overall. No freshman in ASU cross country history has earned All-American accolades but Houlihan looks primed to be the first to bring an end to that.