Falcons to Compete in NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships
Nov. 22, 2003
After finishing third at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships, Nov. 15, the Academy's men's cross country team will compete in the 31-team NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships on Monday, Nov. 24, in Iowa.
The University of Northern Iowa will host the event at Irv Warren Memorial Golf Course, Waterloo, Iowa. The men's race will begin at 11 a.m. Central time.
The 31 schools selected to compete in the national event represent nine regions: Midwest, Mountain, Northeast, South, South Central, Southeast, and West Region. The three teams from the Mountain Region are Colorado, Northern Arizona and Air Force. Individual qualifiers from UTEP, Montana, Montana State and Utah State will also compete from the region. Both Colorado and Northern Arizona automatically qualified for the race, while Air Force was selected at-large.
Following the regional meet, Colorado, Northern Arizona and Air Force were ranked third, sixth and eighth, respectively, in the national poll conducted by the U.S. Cross Country Coaches Association. Colorado won the region meet, followed by NAU and Air Force in the men's 10,000-meter race.
Season highs: Third is the highest regional finish for Air Force in 11 years. Also, 2003 is the third time in four years that the Falcons have qualified for the NCAA championships. In October, Air Force won its first cross country conference title since 1996 (Western Athletic). The 2003 Mountain West Conference title is the Academy's first since entering the MWC in 1999. The men's cross country team is the first Academy team to win a Mountain West Conference title. Six Falcons earned all-conference honors, while four of the six earned all-region honors. Head coach Mark Stanforth was honored as the MWC Coach of the Year.
All-Mountain West Conference: C1C. Ben Payne (2nd/24:31), C2C Brian Dumm (5th/24:52), C3C Mark Walter (7th/25:02) first team. C2C Abe Wengel (11th/25:16), C1C Chris Acs (12th/25:21), C3C Nick Wilson (14th/25:38) second team.
All-Mountain Region: Dumm (5th/31:07), Payne (8th/31:13), Walter (18th/31:40), Acs (25th/31:51).