The NAIA national office announced Monday the team and individual qualifiers for the 2013 NAIA Cross Country National Championships and among the list of individual qualifiers are Huntington University junior Gretchen Spahr and sophomore Tyler Herber.
Spahr is one of 103 individuals, representing 63 institutions, who will compete at the NAIA Women’s Cross Country National Championship on Saturday, November 23, at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, Kansas. Her selection to participate was based on her 7th place finish at the league meet on Saturday.
This will be Spahr’s third trip to Nationals in as many years. As a freshman, the Huntington native qualified as an individual and ran a 19:43 to finish 67th out of 323 runners. As last year’s Crossroads League Champions, the Foresters earned an automatic bid to the national championship where the team finished 20th overall led by Spahr’s 47th place finish in 19:09.
Defending national champion British Columbia, which has been ranked No. 1 throughout the 2013 season, headlines the 32-team women’s field made up of 21 conference, independent and unaffiliated grouping champions; two conference, independent, and unaffiliated grouping runners-up and nine at-large selections.
Herber will represent Huntington in the men’s race. He will be one of 97 individuals, representing 64 institutions, competing on Saturday November 23, at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, Kansas. Like Spahr, the Fremont native finished 7th at the conference meet this past weekend to punch his ticket to Nationals. It will mark his first appearance on the national stage.
Defending national runner-up No. 1 Southern Oregon and defending national champion No. 3 St. Francis (Ill.) headline the 32-team men’s field made up of 21 conference, independent and unaffiliated grouping champions; one conference, independent, and unaffiliated grouping runner-up and ten at-large selections.
The men’s 8K race will begin at 10:30 a.m. CST with the women’s 5K to follow at 11:45 a.m. CST.
The Huntington University Foresters compete in 16 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 39 NAIA All-America honors and 213 All-America Scholar Athlete honors. Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest.