NCAA Championship Bid at Stake for Miami Men's Cross Country Jerry Claunch and the RedHawks visit Ypsilanti, Mich., on Saturday for the NCAA Great Lakes Regional. Jerry Claunch and the RedHawks visit Ypsilanti, Mich., on Saturday for the NCAA Great Lakes Regional.

Nov. 8, 2004

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Chance for NCAA Championship Bid on Saturday: Miami travels to the NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Saturday at the Eagle Crest Golf Course in Ypsilanti, Mich. An NCAA Championship bid is on the line as the top two teams from each of nine regions gets a bid, as do 13 teams selected by an NCAA committee. Individually, the top four runners from each region whose teams do not qualify get a bid, as do two runners selected by the committee.

It'll Be a Challenge: A total of 31 teams are eligible to compete in the Great Lakes regional race, as the region encompasses Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. Seven schools in the Great Lakes region are in the USCCCA top-30, including No. 1 Wisconsin, No. 5 Notre Dame, No. 10 Indiana, No. 13 Butler, No. 23 Michigan, No. 26 Central Michigan and No. 29 Ohio State.

Last Year's NCAA Regional: Miami came in sixth at the 2003 NCAA Great Lakes Regional, held at Indiana State. David Mitchell placed second overall last year, as the regional finish posted the same one-two pairing as the 2003 MAC Championships. Eastern Michigan's Gavin Thompson, now graduated, won both. Dan Huling was the next Miamian to finish, in 22nd overall, while the graduated Brian Godsey took 25th overall. Chris Swisher (36th) and the graduated Steve Padgett (56th) rounded out Miami's scorers. This year's MAC champ, Tristen Perlberg of Central Michigan, took eighth overall at last year's regional.

Ranked RedHawks: The USCCCA National and Regional Polls take the week off this week, as most teams didn't race last weekend in preparation for the NCAA Regional races. Last week, the polls offered a split decision for Miami. While the RedHawks moved up two spots in the Great Lakes Regional Poll, from ninth to seventh, Miami went from being the team receiving the most votes not included in the poll to the team with the third-most votes not in. Miami received 15 nominations to be included in the poll, while 24 ballots was the standard to make the top-30.