SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Furman junior Frank Lara and Samford’s Karisa Nelson and Arsène Guillorel will represent the Southern Conference in the 2016 NCAA Cross Country Men’s and Women’s Championships, which are set to take place on Saturday, Nov. 19., in Terre Haute, Ind.
Lara, the 2016 Men’s SoCon Runner of the Year, earned an at-large bid after his performance at the NCAA Southeast Regional on Saturday. The Houston, Texas, native finished sixth overall with a time of 29:08.2 on the 10K course at Panorama Farms in Earlysville, Va., to garner all-region honors for the second consecutive season.
Guillorel will also compete in the 2016 men’s national championship on Saturday after he placed fourth overall in the NCAA South Regional meet in Tallahassee, Fla., on Saturday. Guillorel completed the 10K course at Apalachee Regional Park in 30:24.6, besting his personal record by nine seconds. The Pontchateau, France, native qualified for the 2015 national meet after finishing second overall in last year’s regional.
Nelson, the 2016 Women’s SoCon Runner of the Year, also placed fourth overall in regional action on Saturday, posting a personal record 20:14.5 on the 6K course in Tallahassee, Fla. The Brewton, Ala., native won the individual title at the 2016 SoCon Championship meet in Chattanooga, Tenn., finishing the 5K course at Camp Jordan in 16:22.62. Nelson is the first Samford women’s competitor to qualify for nationals since former star Lauren D'Alessio advanced in 2012.
This is the first time in program history that Samford has qualified both a male and female representative for NCAA national championship.
Thirty-eight individuals were selected to participate in each championship through an automatic qualifier and at-large selection process. All individual qualifiers finished in the top 25 in their regions.
Indiana State University will host the championships at LaVern Gibson Championship Course at Wabash Valley Family Sport Center located in Terre Haute, Ind. The women’s race will begin at 11 a.m. (EST), followed by the men’s race at approximately noon (EST).
A live webcast of the championships will be broadcast from 11 a.m. (EST) until the conclusion of the awards ceremony, Saturday, Nov. 19, on NCAA.com.