Approximately 500 student athletes from more than 80 NCAA Division II institutions will converge on the Tri-State area this weekend as the University of Southern Indiana and the Evansville Sports Corporation host the 2017 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships Saturday at Angel Mounds.
The 2017 National Championship marks the fourth time that USI has hosted the NCAA II Cross Country Championships and the first time since 2009. USI and the Evansville Sports Corporation have co-hosted the NCAA II Midwest Region Championships at Angel Mounds from 2014-16, while USI hosted the national championships in 1987, 2004 and 2009.
Of the 32 teams competing in this year’s women’s race, 24 teams are ranked in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association Top 25 as well as four additional teams receiving votes outside the Top 25. Cal Baptist has been ranked No. 1 in the nation since October 11, while Grand Valley State University, the defending champions, are ranked No. 2 entering Saturday’s race.
Locally, USI’s women have an individual competing in junior Hope Jones (Cumberland, Indiana), who was sixth at the NCAA II Midwest Region Championships. The Screaming Eagles, ranked No. 23 in the latest USTFCCCA Top 25, did not qualify as a team after finishing fifth at the regional.
Among the 32 teams participating in the men’s race, 22 teams are ranked in the USTFCCCA Top 25 as well as an additional six teams receiving votes outside the Top 25. Defending national champion Adams State University sits atop the national rankings, while Colorado School of Mines, the 2015 NCAA II champion, is ranked No. 2.
Three Great Lakes Valley Conference teams will compete Saturday, including No. 5 USI, No. 10 Lewis University and No. 20 Bellarmine University. No. 3 Grand Valley State, the Midwest Region champion, also will be in in competition Saturday.
The women’s six-kilometer race is set for a 10:15 a.m. (CST) start, while the men’s 10k is slated to begin at 11:30 a.m. All tickets for the Saturday’s meet will be sold at the gate on race day only. Admission prices are $10 for adults, $5 for students, while children, ages five-and-under, are free of charge.
Live result links, video links and additional meet information can be accessed at GoUSIEagles.com/2017ncaaxcchampionships.com.