November 16, 1998
TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State's women's cross country squad received an at-large invitation to the 1998 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships, the NCAA announced today. It is the first time in Sun Devil history that either a men's or women's cross country squad earned an invitation as a team. The national championships will be held Monday, Nov. 23, at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, Kansas.
The NCAA announced the 13 at-large bids today after 18 teams automatically qualified by finishing first or second at nine regionals held Saturday. ASU finished sixth at the NCAA West Regional on Saturday after a fourth-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships two weeks ago. In addition to its two automatic qualifiers, the West region earned five at-large bids for a total of seven, the most of any region. Six Pac-10 teams - ASU, Arizona, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA and Washington - will compete at the NCAA Championships.
"I couldn't be prouder of this group," said ASU head coach Walt Drenth. "The credit really goes to the student-athletes in our program who worked extremely hard for this opportunity."
Four individual women - Teresa Barrios (1988), Laura LeMena (1987), Lynn Nelson (1983) and Sabrina Peters (1980 & '82) - have qualified for nationals as individuals in ASU history, but never have the Sun Devils participated as a team. The sixth-place regional finish was the best for ASU since 1986 and the fourth-place conference finish matched the best in school history.