DURHAM, N.C. - The Duke men's and women's cross country teams will travel to Charlotte, N.C. to compete at Friday's NCAA Southeast Regional Championships. The races will be held at McAlpine Park, with the women's 6K competition getting underway at 12 p.m., followed by the men's 10K at 1:15 p.m.
Live results will be available on TimingInc.com. Fans can also follow the Blue Devils on Twitter (@Duke_TF_XC) for updates throughout the race.
At stake for both squads is eligibility for the 2012 NCAA Championships on Saturday, Nov. 17 in Louisville, Ky. Nine men's teams and nine women's teams automatically qualify for the championship meet by finishing in the top two at this weekend's nine regional events, while 36 individuals automatically qualify by being one of the top four regional finishers not on an advancing team.
This year's NCAA Southeast Regional will feature 40 men's teams and 41 squads on the women's side from the Carolinas, Kentucky and Virginia, with each vying for the two automatic berths or positioning for one of the 13-at large bids to the NCAA Championships, which will be announced Saturday, Nov. 10 at 12 p.m.
The Blue Devil women (80-15, 18-1 ACC) enter Friday's race as the top-ranked team in the region and the 10th-ranked program nationally. Two weeks ago, the team earned a second-place finish at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, led by All-ACC performers Juliet Bottorff and Kelsey Lakowske. Duke will line up against two other nationally-ranked squads in Friday's race, including No. 19 William & Mary, ranked second in the Southeast Region, and No. 30 NC State, which came in at third in the latest regional poll.
The 2011 NCAA Southeast Regional Championships saw the Duke women take fifth overall out of 35 squads, with Morgan and Ahn receiving All-Southeast Region honors. Morgan went on to compete at the 2011 NCAA Championships, placing 89th as an individual.
"Our women are excited to race on Friday," said women's head coach Kevin Jermyn. "Our team is continuing to get more fit, confident and excited with each week. We are also looking forward to having great fan support on the course."
The Duke men (56-12, 9-6 ACC) dropped to seventh in the Southeast Region after finishing fifth at the ACC Championships. Fifteenth-ranked Eastern Kentucky sits atop the regional poll heading into Friday's competition, followed by No. 17 Virginia Tech - which captured the program's first ACC title two weeks ago at the conference championships - and No. 21 Virginia.
A season ago, the Blue Devils placed seventh at the regional championships as 2012 graduate and current volunteer assistant coach Andrew Brodeur was tabbed with All-Southeast Region recognition. While not qualifying for the 2011 NCAA Championships, Duke garnered a spot in the national meet in each of the two seasons prior.
"Friday is about one race to determine if the Duke men are worthy of our third NCAA Championships berth in the last four years," said men's head coach Norm Ogilvie. "We've been training all summer and fall to be ready for the 10K distance, and we are peaked physically and ready to perform. If we want it bad enough and scrap for every place in the tough Southeast Region field, that should get us our coveted NCAA selection."
The NC State men captured the team title at last year's NCAA Southeast Regional Championships, while Virginia won the women's race.
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