Monteau Heads to NCAA Championships
Nov. 20, 2005
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin's Ashley Monteau is set to run in the NCAA Cross Country Championships on Monday in Terre Haute, Ind. This is the second straight year that Monteau has qualified for the national championships.
The junior from Anahuac, Texas qualified for this season's race by finishing fourth overall in the NCAA South Central Regional Championships, held Nov. 12 in Waco, Texas. Monteau finished the 6,000-meter course in 21:02. Last year, she qualified for the national race with an 11th-place finish at regionals and went on to finish 75th at the NCAAs.
"I think she's got a great opportunity to improve on her finish from last year," SFA cross country coach Lou Snelling said. "When we sat down at the beginning of the year, we talked about being in the Top 50, and I think that's pretty realistic."
Snelling said he expects Monteau's experience to aid her in this year's race.
"It's great for her to have gone last year and have that experience," the coach said. "The NCAAs are always a very unique experience. For her to have been there and done that already, it's a great help. She knows exactly what to expect at every level, and that's going to be a big benefit for her."
This marks the third consecutive year for the SFA cross country program to send an individual to the NCAA Championships. Lumberjacks Mike Thompson and Nathan Flores qualified for the event in 2003, and Monteau and Julian Acuna reached the national level last season. Monteau is the first athlete from SFA to make consecutive appearances at the NCAAs.
"It's a big thing for our program," Snelling said. "There aren't a lot of programs in the state of Texas who can say they've been able to do that. It's great that we can have an impact on the conference level and also on the national level. That's something we strive for here at SFA."
The women's race is scheduled to begin at 1:15 p.m., eastern time, on Indiana State University's LaVern Gibson Championship Course. The course will cover 10,000 meters.
- SFA -