Nov. 15, 2009
By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee women's cross country team was bypassed once again for an NCAA Championship berth, but the program will be represented by two individuals - one an automatic qualifier via Saturday's South Regional and the other an at-large entry chosen by the selection committee on Sunday evening.
Seniors Jackie Areson and Katie Van Horn both made the field. Areson's third-place performance at the NCAA South Regional on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala., earned her a second-straight automatic berth into the meet and a third overall trip to the race, which will be held Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind. Areson finished 104th nationally a year ago out of 252 runners in 21 minutes, 14.7 seconds.
Van Horn, meanwhile, was an at-large selection who finished 10th at the regional meet and was one spot out of an auto bid. Thanks to the selection committee, Van Horn will be making her second trip to the NCAA Championships. She made the meet as a member of UT's whole team in 2006 and was the Lady Vols' second runner, finishing 113rd overall in 22:14.6.
The squad, which was ranked 29th nationally and third regionally, finished third at the region meet on Saturday in Tuscaloosa behind No. 3 Florida and No. 9 Florida State. It marked the second straight season Tennessee came out on the short end of the stick on selection day.
The NCAA meet will once again be held at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center. Versus will televise the race live at 12:58 p.m., while NCAA.com will stream live.