|Kiser advances to NCAAs|
MOSCOW, Idaho –
Hannah Kiser’s outstanding sophomore season will continue.
The University of Idaho sophomore from Wenatchee, Wash.
(Wenatchee HS) earned an individual at-large bid to the 2011 NCAA Cross Country
Championships, announced Sunday. She learned her fate following her 18th-place
finish at Saturday’s NCAA West Region Championship. She will be Idaho’s first
NCAA Cross Country Championship participant since 2004.
“It’s an amazing accomplishment for our program, and Hannah
has worked so hard for this,” Idaho director of track and field/cross country
Wayne Phipps said. “She really deserves this chance to compete at the highest
Already this season, Kiser claimed the individual title at
Oregon’s Dellinger Invitational and the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational, and
was the top collegiate runner at both the Sundodger Invitational and Inland
Northwest Cross Country Classic.
She earned First-Team All-WAC honors with a second-place
finish at the WAC Championships, despite battling heat illness throughout the
race, and last weekend, earned her first career All-Region honor from the U.S.
Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
“She’s taken some big steps from being competitive in cross
country to being a conference champion in track, then making it to the NCAA
first round last year in track,” Phipps said. “I think the confidence she
gained from last year in track has definitely carried over to this season.”
The meet, which takes place Monday, Nov. 21, at Terre Haute,
Ind., will be Kiser’s second career NCAA foray. She was a qualifier last year
as a true freshman in the 5000m during the outdoor track and field season, and
finished 32nd in the first round.
The last time Idaho was represented at the NCAA Cross
Country Championships was in 2004, when the women’s team, led by Letiwe
Marakurwa and Mary Kamau, earned an at-large bid and earned the first top-25
finish in program history.
“Cross country, percentage-wise of total competitors, is the toughest sport to make it to NCAAs,” Phipps said. “We’ve had some people get close, but it’s very exciting for our program, and hopefully we can take some more steps forward and get a team there or some more individuals.”