Southern Utah University's Nate Jewkes has qualified to run in the prominent NCAA Division I Cross Country National Championships, competing in the men's 10K in Kentucky this Saturday, November 17. This will be Jewkes' second appearance at the national championships in the 10,000-meter race.
"This is a chance to run with the best runners in the nation, and I know I can give them a run for their money, thanks to the support I've received over the past few years from the University, my team and Coach Houle," said Jewkes, a junior from South Jordan, Utah, who studies math when he's not circling SUU's track.
Of Jewkes' progress, SUU Track Coach Eric Houle said, "Nate wasn't a superstar when he started on the team, but in the last couple years he has shone brighter and brighter. To now see him go to the national championships for the second time is huge accomplishment."
Houle says he and all of Jewkes' teammates are behind their top runner, eager to see how he does in national competition.
Jewkes placed eighth overall at the Mountain Region qualifying competition last Saturday in Fort Collins, Colo., with a time of 30:16.2. This is an improvement for Jewkes on last yea's time by 10 positions. Ryan Barrus scored next for SUU, finishing 39th with a time of 31:25.7, three other Thunderbirds finished in the top 100, wrapping up the team score of 257 points.
Jewkes qualified for the NCAA Championships as an individual; his team finished in eighth place. Meanwhile, the women's Thunderbird squad narrowly missed out on a team qualifier, finishing fourth; just three women's teams qualify for the national competition.
Thirty-eight individuals were selected to participate in each championship through an automatic qualifier and at-large selection process. All individual qualifiers finished in the top 25 in their region.
Louisville will host the Championships at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park. The women's race will begin at noon ET, followed by the men's race at 1:15 p.m. ET.
SUU will host an NCAA XC Championships Watch Party in the Sharwan Smith Student Center Theater at 11 a.m. MST on Saturday. Come see the race and support Nate Jewkes and all of SUU Cross Country.