STARKVILLE, Miss. - Both the men's and women's cross country teams at Mississippi State finished the 2006 season with eighth-place finishes at the NCAA South Region on Saturday in Knoxville, Tenn.
Senior Jennifer McPherson earned a spot in the 2006 NCAA Championship meet in Terre Haute, Ind. on Nov. 28 as an individual after finishing 16th at the region 8K race with a time 21:50.5. Her spot in the national event will become official on Sunday night when the NCAA announces the bids to the finals. McPherson is the third Lady Bulldog to garner a spot in the NCAA Championship. April Ecke and Tiffany McWilliams previously made trips to the NCAA Championship as individuals. McPherson's spot in the NCAA Championship secured her spot as the second MSU woman to compete in all three NCAA Championships - outdoor, indoor and cross country. McWilliams previously earned that feat.
"The goal was to be in the top-five, but it is a tough region and to finish in the top-10 is great," said women's coach Al Schmidt. "We were the fourth Southeastern Conference team to finish. We had a great season with two wins and a fifth place finish at the SEC meet."
Annie Falor followed behind McPherson for State with a time of 22:08.5 and a 24th-place finish. Falor and McPherson both were rewarded with all-South Region honors. It marks the second time McPherson notched all-Region status and the first time for Falor. The top-25 finishers earn the prestigious region honor. Sophomore Michelle Corrigan crossed the line at 22:54.7 followed by Mina Thorstenson and Nicole Rosetti with times of 23:20.5 and 23:29.3 respectively.
On the Men's side, senior Wade Martin led all Bulldog competitors with a time of 32:30.6 in the 10K event. Martin has led the State contingent the last two seasons at the NCAA South Regional. Pad Judd crossed the line at 32:54.4 followed by Travis Mckay posting a time of 33:01.3.
"We always like to finish higher than our ranking, but finishing eighth is good after just having the program back four years ago," said men's head coach Steve Dudley. "This senior class has set the standard for our program. We are now established as a team in this region. I am so thankful for this group of seniors."
The University of Georgia captured the women's team title while the Seminoles of Florida State claimed the men's title. Both schools will represent the region at the NCAA Championship.