Harrison Qualifies For First XC National Championship

Nov. 16, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS - Graduate student Kiera Harrison became the first-ever Loyola University Maryland cross country runner to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Cross Country Championships, as announced by the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Committee Saturday afternoon. 

Harrison will become the first-ever Greyhound to compete at an NCAA Division I Championship in any sport as an individual.

“This was all Kiera’s hard work,” head cross country coach Rick Woods said. “She deserves this opportunity.”

The veteran distance runner was the only Patriot League finisher to earn All-Mid-Atlantic Region honors this year, finishing 24th at the regional meet by tying a career-best time of 20:51 on Friday, Nov. 15. She also recorded a 20:51 finish at the Salty Dog Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 14.

Harrison, a native of Syossett, N.Y., finished runner-up at the Patriot League Championships on November 2. She completed the race in 21:47.63.

She also earned Patriot League Runner of the Week honors in consecutive weeks this year. Her first came on October 7, after she was the first conference runner to cross the line at the Paul Short Invitational, finishing 21st among the 406 participants with a time of 20:58.

Her second weekly honor came after she won the Leopard Invitational in Easton, Pa., on Saturday, Oct. 19. She finished the 6k course in 21:44.87 to become the second Greyhound to win a meet in as many years. Jackie D'Antonio, a 2013 alumna, won the Tribe Open last season in Williamsburg, Va. 

Harrison, the only Patriot League competitor to advance to the National Championships, will head to the Wabash Valley Family Sports Complex in Terre Haute, Ind., to compete on Saturday, Nov. 23. The men’s race will begin at noon, followed by the women’s race at 1:15 p.m.

Click here for the release from the NCAA.