DURHAM, N.C. - The Duke men's cross country team has earned a berth to the 2012 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships Saturday, Nov. 17 in Louisville, Ky., as announced by the NCAA Saturday morning. The Blue Devil men will join the 10th-ranked women's team at the NCAA Championships after finishing fifth Friday at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships in Matthews, N.C.
The men's program received one of 13 at-large bids to the championship meet after taking fifth in its region behind No. 21 Virginia, No. 15 Eastern Kentucky, NC State and No. 17 Virginia Tech. Duke climbed as high as No. 18 this season in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's national rankings and owns a mark of 85-16 and a 12-9 record against ACC opponents heading into the championship weekend. The Blue Devils will be making their 12th appearance at the NCAA Championships and third in the past four seasons after finishing 21st in their last outing in 2010.
"The men constantly hear from me how we have to fight all the way to the finish and the need to battle for every place," said head coach Norm Ogilvie. "At the regional meet we found out that one place can really make a difference. Senior Dominick Robinson dug deep down the stretch to get one more guy, who turned out to be from George Mason. Because of that late pass yards from the finish, Duke will be going to the NCAA meet. If the pass hadn't been made, our season would be over. Instead, we are going to NCAA's for the third time in four years."
The Duke women automatically qualified for the 2012 NCAA Championships Friday, winning the Southeast Region title for the third time in the history of the program. Four runners - senior Juliet Bottorff, sophomore Kelsey Lakowske, sophomore Carolyn Baskir and graduate student Suejin Ahn - finished inside the top 25 to earn a spot on the All-Southeast Region team. With a season ledger of 116-15 and a 23-1 mark against ACC competition, the women will also head to the championship meet for the third time in the past four years. Under head coach Kevin Jermyn's direction, the program has posted top-10 showings at the NCAA Championship meet on three different occasions.
Be sure to check back to GoDuke.com next week for a full preview of the 2012 NCAA Championships. Fans can also follow the Blue Devils on Twitter (@Duke_TF_XC).
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