By: Aubrie Laufenberg
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. –The 2018 Summit League Cross Country Female Champion Emma Rafuse of Purdue Fort Wayne punched her ticket to the NCAA Cross Country Championships, while South Dakota, the 2018 Summit League Women's Champions, had the best team finish among Summit League participants taking sixth at the Midwest Regional.
Rafuse finished seventh at the Great Lakes Regional with a time of 20:43.5 to earn a spot at the NCAA Championships. She is the first Mastodon to advance to the cross country NCAA nationals since Crystal Martinez in 2008.
Rafuse was not the only top-10 finisher among Summit League student-athletes during today's meets. North Dakota State's Kelby Anderson clocked a 20:42.6 finish at the Midwest Regional to earn a ninth-place finish.
On the men's side, South Dakota State's Kyle Burdick was the top Summit League finisher to cross the line. Burdick claimed 15th-place and clocked a 10K time of 31:18.3.
The Jackrabbits had the top team finish among the league's men coming in at tenth place at the Midwest Regional.
North Dakota, Omaha and Western Illinois also competed at the Midwest Regional in Peoria, Ill. Purdue Fort Wayne ran in the Great Lakes Regional in Terre Haute, Ind.
The NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships will take place Saturday, Nov. 17 in Madison, Wis. The women's 6K will start at 10:45 a.m. with the men's 10K to follow at 11:45 a.m.
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Through 36 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 115,000 at nine institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, Purdue Fort Wayne (Purdue University Fort Wayne), the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced 12 NCAA Champions along with over 100 Academic All-Americans, nearly 125 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.