Alabama State set for NCAA Regionals
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Several Alabama State cross country athletes are set for postseason action, as they will head to the NCAA South Regional Championship this Friday at Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The Alabama State women’s team will compete in a 6K at Harry Pritchett Running Park, with their meet starting at 9 a.m. Nine athletes are expected to run for the SWAC women’s cross country champions: 2015 SWAC Women’s Runner of the Year Paige Rankine, 2014 SWAC Women’s Runner of the Year Artrailia Lesane, All-SWAC First-Teamers Shantia Wilson and Tatiana Etienne, All-SWAC Second Team members Shakalia Williams, Brandee Ebert and Sade Lavallias, Hayley Spears and Markia Bartley.
On the men’s side, Alabama State’s Bryont Brown, a second-team All-SWAC runner this season, will also compete as he will run in the men’s 10K meet, which starts at 10 a.m.
The Hornet runners are familiar with the course, as they competed on it during the 2015 Crimson Classic earlier this season. Last season, the Lady Hornets finished 21st in team competition, a six-spot jump from their 2013 result.
Alabama State will be up against the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State and Georgia as they vie for a spot at the NCAA Division-I National Championships, set for Nov. 21 in Louisville, Ky. A total of 31 teams will make the field, with 18 of the bids being automatic for the teams that finish first and second in each of the nine respective regional meets.
The rest of the field will be filled out via at-large bids as given by the NCAA Division I Cross Country Subcommittee, with regional results serving as the first criterion for qualifying.From there, 36 individual qualifiers will be chosen from at-large and automatic bids. Runners automatically qualify to the championships races by being one of the top four regional finishers not on an advancing team. Two additional individuals are selected at-large by the committee.