INDIANAPOLIS – The 20th-ranked Utah cross country team is headed to NCAA Championships on Saturday, Nov. 18, at Panorama Farms after earning an at-large berth when its named was announced at the Selection Show on NCAA.com late Saturday afternoon.
WE’RE IN?? pic.twitter.com/fwOXfLxqLe
— Utah T&F/XC (@Utah_trackfield) November 11, 2023
The Utes earned the at-large berth after placing third-overall at arguably the hardest region in the country on Friday. The mountain region had six teams ranked in the USTFCCCA top-30 – including the two of the top-3 teams in the country. Utah also got a boost when it finished ahead of fellow conference foe No. 13 Colorado while fending off No. 22 Utah Valley and No. 27 Colorado State.
This marks the fifth-time the Women of Utah have earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Championships and will be making their sixth-time appearance all-time at the championships (2015, 2016, 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023) – all of which have been under the direction of head Kyle Kepler. Utah earned its lone automatic qualifier last season when it took second at the regional in Albuquerque.
If you remove the shortened COVID-19 season that was moved to the spring out of the equation, this would be Utah’s fourth-straight year at the championships.
Utah had its best finish ever in 2022, placing 12th-overall as a team behind an All-American effort from Emily Venters – who crossed the finish line in 12th. Utah’s previous best finish at the championships came in 2019 when the squad placed 16th-overall behind Poppy Tank – who earned All-America honors as an individual competitor for the Utes in the shortened COVID-19 season (2020).
The NCAA Cross Country Championships will once again air live on ESPNU when the teams toe the line and vie for the coveted championship at Panorama Farms on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 8:20 a.m. (MT) / 10:20 a.m. (ET) local.
For the latest news and information on the Utah cross country and track & field programs, fans can stay connected online at www.UtahUtes.com and on social media by following on Facebook, X and Instagram.