For the first team in program history, Men's Cross Country will field a full team in the NJCAA Division I National Championships. The championship race will take place at the University of New Mexico Golf Course in Albuquerque, N.M. on Saturday. The men will race an 8k at 1:00 ET.
This will be the Cougars' first appearance in the National Championship since Luis Perez ran as an individual on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Cleveland State will take their top five runners to compete for a top finish in the team standings.
The Cougars last raced on Sept. 25 when they won the Region VII Championship on the campus of Maryville College in Maryville, Tenn. Derek Gallardo won Region VII MVP as he won the 8k with a time of 26:59. Erik Martinez, Diego Guzman, and Riley Higginbotham followed closely behind to help Cleveland State sweep the top four spots.
Cleveland State was ranked as high as 14th in the nation this season and will hope to place well as a team in the highly competitive championship. Head coach Lindsey Beck looks forward to seeing what her squad can do come Saturday.
"We have seen the rankings this season and have been grateful that our guys, as hard as they have worked this year, were recognized for their efforts. I hope we can show everyone that it was well-deserved," Beck said. "Nationals is a highly-competitive atmosphere with some very talented teams so we just need to focus on working together to run our best race. I expect everyone to give 110 percent and hope they can use this great opportunity as a chance to work together as a unit and thrive against the quick field to improve on their times and end the season on a high note."
Stay tuned to cscougars.com for more updates on the National Championship and the 2020 Cross Country off-season.
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