November 13, 2017

Castleton's Smith & NEC's Shafer Qualify for NCAA Cross Country Championship & Earn All-Region Honors

The NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Track and Field and Cross Country Committee announced today the team and individual qualifiers for the 2017 NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships and two North Atlantic Conference (NAC) student-athletes have qualified for the Championship.

Castleton senior Grandon Smith (Newtown, Ct.) and New England College senior Abby Shafer (Egg Harbor Township, N.J.) both qualified for the national championship after racing at the New England Regional. Smith finished the 8k race in 11th place (21:44.50), while Shafer crossed the line in the 6k as the 18th finisher (25:45.20). 

For the full NCAA release, click HERE.

In order to be eligible to participate in the championships, teams and individuals must qualify in their respective NCAA regions. Thirty-two teams were selected to participate in each championship. The top-two seven person teams automatically qualified from each of the eight regions, for a total of 16 teams. Sixteen additional teams were selected at-large, while fifty-six individuals, the first seven student-athletes from each region who are not a part of a qualifying team, were selected to participate in each championship. Principia College is hosting the championships November 18 at the North Farm Facility in Elsah, Illinois. The men's race will begin at 12:00 p.m. (ET) followed by the women's race at 1:15 p.m.

Both student-athletes were also recognized by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) as All-Region honorees for the 2017 NCAA Division III Cross Country season following the Regional Championships last weekend.

A total of 280 men and 280 women from 239 programs earned the distinction by finishing among the top-35 runners at one of the eight regional sites across the country. Only athletes from member institutions are eligible.

For the full All-Region release, click HERE