DURHAM, N.C. - The Duke University men's and women's cross country teams will conclude the 2009 season on Monday, Nov. 23, at the NCAA Championships held in Terre Haute, Ind. The men's team is also scheduled to compete on Saturday, Nov. 21, at the IC4A Championships in Bronx, N.Y.
The national championship race, hosted by Indiana State University, will be held at LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center. The meet gets underway at 12:08 p.m. (EST) with the men's 10K race, followed by the women's 6K race at 12:58 p.m. (EST).
Both championship races will be broadcast live on Versus Network and streamed online via NCAA.com.
This season marks the first time since 2000 that both the Blue Devil men's and women's squads qualified for the NCAA Championships in the same year, as Duke is one of 18 schools to have both teams earn a bid to the national championship race.
The 26th-ranked Duke men are making their first NCAA appearance since 2001, when the Devils finished 14th overall, three spots behind the program's best finish ever, an 11th-place showing in 1974. In 2008, junior Bo Waggoner, a three-time All-ACC and two-time All-Southeast Region performer, qualified as an individual for the NCAA's and ran a 31:09 for 10K to finish 135th at the event.
This year's team, comprised of senior James Osborne, juniors Joshua Lund, Cory Nanni and Waggoner, and sophomores Josh Brewer, Stephen Clark and James Kostelnik, looks to add to the program's strong history after finishing in fourth place at regionals.
In addition, four ACC teams will participate in Monday's event on the men's side, with No. 20 Florida State, No. 18 N.C. State and No. 27 Virginia joining the Blue Devils in the hunt for a national championship. Duke is also one of five Southeast Region squads, including No. 7 William and Mary, No. 23 Louisville, UVa and NCSU, to qualify.
On the women's side, the Blue Devils are returning to the national championship race after having a stretch of six consecutive bids (from 2002-2007) broken a season ago. This year, Duke earned an automatic berth by claiming the program's third Southeast Region team title. The Blue Devils also won regional titles in 2004 and 2005, and finished second and third, respectively, at the NCAAChampionhip those years.
Joining the Blue Devils from the ACC will be No. 8 Florida State and No. 20 Virginia. UVa and Duke are the only two squads from the Southeast Region to qualify for the meet.
Senior Kate Van Buskirk, a two-time Al-ACC and three-time all-region performer, leads a group of talented underclassmen, including sophomores Suejin Ahn, Mary Carleton Johnston and Carly Seymour, and freshmen Juliet Bottorff, Kayla Hale and Sophia Ziemian. Seymour and conference Freshman of the Year Botorff joined Van Buskirk on the 2009 All-ACC and all-region squads, while Hale was Duke's fourth runner to garner all-region accolades this season.
Ten runners from the Duke men's squad will also look to defend the Devils' 2008 team title at the 101st Annual IC4A Cross Country Championship, held at Van Cortlandt Park, on Saturday. The men's 8K championship race, hosted by Fordham University along with The Metropolitan Intercollegiate Track and Field Coaches' Association, is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. Seniors Ken Sullivan and Will Smith, juniors Isaac Dunkelberger and Ryan McDermott, sophomores Andrew Brodeur, Guillermo Echarte and Brendon Pierson, and freshmen Mike Moverman, Dominick Robinson and Jonathan Sanchez will all represent Duke at the event.
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