November 14, 2015
Tech men's cross country squad receives NCAA bid
The Hokies garnered an at-large bid and will make the program's sixth NCAA appearance

BLACKSBURG – The Virginia Tech men’s cross country team found out Saturday that it had received an at-large bid to the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships, which will be held Nov. 21 at Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Hokies are one of 31 teams competing at the championship. That includes 18 teams that qualified by virtue of finishing in the top two at regional meets held Friday and 13 teams that received at-large bids, as handed out by the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Track and Field and Cross Country Committee. Tech was one of those 13 teams.

“I’m very excited that I get to see these guys race as a team at the NCAAs,” Tech cross country coach Ben Thomas said. “We didn’t have a very good team race at the regional meet, so the guys are hungry to finish on a stronger note.

“There are 315-plus men’s cross country programs in Division I. To be among the 31 that get to the NCAA Championships is commendable. Mathematically, it is the hardest Olympic sport postseason championship to make. We plan to make the most of it.”

The Hokies are coming off a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Southeast Regional meet held Friday at Panorama Farms outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. Tech runner Thomas Curtin won the 10k race in a time of 29 minutes, 7.9 seconds, and Stuart Robertson finished 24th, giving the Hokies two all-region performers. But the squad went into the meet expecting a better team finish.

The NCAA Championships appearance will be the sixth for the Tech men’s squad in the program’s history. The Hokies qualified in 2012 – the year they also won the ACC title. Other appearances came in 1987, 1982, 1970 and 1969.

Curtin, who has won three straight races, will be looking to cap his career with a national championship. The highest finish by a Tech men’s runner at the NCAA Championships came in 1987 when Steve Taylor finished fourth. The highest finish by a Tech runner, male or female, came in 2008 when Tasmin Fanning finished third.

The women’s race at the NCAA Championships starts at noon, with the men’s race following at approximately 1 p.m.

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