Bulldog distance coach Patrick Cunniff joined the Georgia staff before the 2012 season and has led both teams to the NCAA Championships this year.
Nov. 10, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia women's cross country team has earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships giving UGA two teams at the national meet for only the second time in school history.
Georgia will travel both teams to the Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky., for the NCAA Championships on Nov. 17. The women's 6k race will begin at noon, followed by the men's 10k showdown at 1:15 p.m. A live webcast of the Championships will be broadcast from noon until 1:30 p.m. on NCAA.com.
Ranked fifth in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) South Region poll, the Lady Bulldogs surged to a third-place finish at Friday's NCAA South Regional Championships in Tallahassee, Fla. This finish, along with the team's performances during the rest of the 2012 season, put Georgia in the national meet along with 30 other teams for the first time since 2007.
The Lady Bulldogs will join the Georgia men, who qualified automatically with a second-place finish at Regionals. This marks only the second time in UGA history that both cross country teams will be competing in the same NCAA Championships (2004, women-24th, men-25th).
With their at-large bid, the Georgia women will be making their seventh trip to the NCAA Championships. The Lady Bulldogs best showing happened in 1990 as UGA finished ninth overall before also qualifying for nationals in 1991.
The men will be making their fourth trip in history and second consecutive to the NCAA Championships after advancing in 2003-04 and 2011-12. Twenty-fifth place is the best the Bulldog men have scored (2003-04), although their 29th-place finish last year topped all other SEC competition.
At-large team bid or not, sophomore Carly Hamilton clinched her individual spot at NCAAs with her performance at Regionals. Hamilton followed up her fourth-place finish at the SEC Championships with another fourth-place finish in Tallahassee. Her time of 20:16.1 made her the first runner to finish who was not competing for Florida State, which automatically punched her ticket to nationals.
Senior Morgan VanGorder was 19th at Friday's meet to earn her first All-Region honor and help drive the Lady Bulldogs into one of the top three spots. Georgia's third finisher was Bret McDaniel (26th) as Leslie Boozer (30th) and Nicole DiMercurio (36th) also scored for Georgia.
Full results and a recap from the NCAA Cross Country Championships will be located at georgiadogs.com.