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Women's cross country sprints to NCAA finals

Nov. 18, 2005

by FRED BUTTACIO, reporter

The No. 20 Lady Bears cross country team looks to begin a new Baylor trend by bringing home a national title when they race in the NCAA Cross Country Championships on Monday in Terre Haute, Ind.

The Baylor women earned an automatic berth to the 31-team national competition by placing second on Saturday at the South Central Regional in Waco.

Courtesy photo
The Baylor women's cross country team finished 29th at the national championship last season in Terre Haute, Ind. The women return Monday to the NCAA Championships in Indiana after placing second in the South Central Regional held in Waco.
Baylor narrowly missed the regional title as the Lady Bears fell just one point shy of the University of Arkansas.

The Lady Razorbacks won the meet with a team total of 45 points.

The 46 points scored by the Lady Bears earned them second place overall in the South Central Regional and was the lowest point total for Baylor at a regional since Baylor joined the Big 12 Conference in 1994 and their best team total since 1991.

Brittany Brockman, a Houston junior, and Erin Bedell, a Plano freshman, finished the race first and second respectively.

Brockman won the 6000-meter trek, capturing Baylor's first ever individual regional title.

The trip to nationals marks the third consecutive year the Baylor women's cross country team has qualified to run for the team title, and the team hopes to improve on last year's 29th place finish.

"We set out at the beginning of the season based upon what we did last year to improve our 29th place finish, get back to the NCAA meet, which would be our third year straight, and to run well there," cross country head Coach Todd Harbour said. "And now we have a really good chance to run well at nationals, which has been our No. 1 goal all year."

The Lady Bears have placed no less than third as a team in any race all season.

"We have worked really hard to get where we are, and now that we have three juniors running in our top five, a freshman who has ran in the World Championships (Bedell) and Brittany Brockman, a No. 1 runner who has been consistent all year, we are more experienced than the past, and if we hit on all cylinders can be a top 10 team," Harbour said.

Brockman and Bedell will lead the 2005 team to Terre Haute with high hopes of success.

"As a team we are excited and I think we are going to do really well and be able to show all the schools in the nation that we are ready to compete," Bedell said.

Brockman has ran at Terre Haute twice before and looks forward to the challenge of leading the team in 2005.

"I like the course, it's a two times 3K-loop," Brockman said. "The course is nothing special, but the meet itself is huge. When you see the NCAA banners and crowds of people, it's a nerve-racking experience."