Michigan State Advances to NCAA Championship
EAST LANSING, Mich.- Michigan State received an at-large bid to the NCAA Division I Men's Cross Country Championships it was announced Monday. The meet, hosted by Furman University (Greenville, S.C.), will be held on the Furman University Cross Country Course on November 24 at 11 a..m.
State advanced by virtue of a third place finish at the Great Lakes Regional (IV) Championships on November 15. The Spartans, ranked eighth in the country, scored 88 points, finishing behind no. 3 Michigan (21 points) and no. 5 Wisconsin (74) points. Individually, senior Kyle Baker led the Spartans with a ninth place finish over the 10,00-meter course (31:01.69).
MSU's entry into the championships marks only the third time that the team has qualified in 26 years. In 1995 the team finished 19th , while in 1991, the team finished ninth.
"Other than the Big Ten Championships, this is the meet to shoot for every year," said head coach Jim Stintzi. "Being one of the 22 out of 300 schools is a difficult thing to do year in and year out. We had hoped to advance last year. We're very excited. It's a step toward relizing the ultimate goal, a national championship.
"The top four teams are Stanford, Arkansas, Satnford, Colorado and Michigan," said Stintzi. "Unless they beat themselves, they are not within reach. Anywhere from a fifth to a tenth place finish would be considered a good day."
The Spartans leave for Furman on Sunday. More meet information is available at www.furman.edu/athletics/crossctry/.