Point Park's runners compete at NAIA Cross Country National Championship Meet
Updated -- Nov. 17 at 4:50 p.m. ET
NAIA National Qualifiers (L to R) Lindsay Dill, Hana Jiraskova and Dylan Grunn at the Nike campus. Photo by coach Jim Irvin.
VANCOUVER, Wash. -- Point Park University's NAIA Cross Country National Championship Meet qualifiers represented themselves, their school and team very well on Saturday, Nov. 17 at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.
Dylan Grunn finished the men's 8K race in 26:57 as Point Park second-ever men's runner to compete in the national championship meet. Grunn is a senior from Honesdale, Pa. He placed 190th of 309 runners in the field.
On the women's side, Point Park's Hana Jiraskova ran the 5K-race in 20:24, and she was the first runner from the KIAC to finish. Lindsay Dill also ran a good race at 20:37 and was the second KIAC women's runner to place. Dill and Jiraskova are the first Point Park women's runners ever to compete in the national meet. Jiraskova is from the Czech Republic, and Dill is from Erie, Pa., and McDowell High School
NAIA MEET PREVIEW STORY
VANCOUVER, Wash. -- Point Park University's NAIA Cross Country National Championship Qualifiers Dylan Grunn, Lindsay Dill and Hana Jiraskova are in Vancouver, Wash., for the NAIA Meet Nov. 17 at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.
The women's 5K national championship race will take place Nov. 17 at 10:30 a.m. PT with the men's national championship 8K race to follow at 11:45 a.m. PT. The post-meet awards ceremony will be streamed live online.
The 32-team men's field features 21 conference championship teams, one conference runner-up, nine at-large teams and one host team (Concordia (Ore.)). There are also 105 individual qualifiers, of which Grunn, a senior, is included.
The 32-team women's meet includes 22 conference championship teams, two conferencer runners-up, seven at-large teams and host Concordia (Ore.). Point Park's Jiraskova and Dill are among the 109 individual qualifiers. Jiraskova is a sophomore who transferred to the Pioneers this year, and Dill is a senior.
Teams advance to the NAIA national meet by winning their conference meet or in some cases finishing runner-up if their conference gets two automatic bids. At-large selections are dictated by the final NAIA Top 25 Poll. Individual qualifiers are those who finish in the top five of their conference meets who are not on a championship team.
Grunn, Jiraskova and Dill each had a high finish at the KIAC Meet on Nov. 10. Grunn placed ninth in the men's race to lock up an individual spot. Jiraskova and Dill finished second and third at the KIAC women's race to punch their tickets to nationals.
The fastest times in last year's NAIA women's national championship meet were in the low 17-minute range for the 5K-race. The best times in last year's NAIA men's national championship meet were just over 23 minutes for the 8K-race.
While the Point Park contingent won't be within reach of challenging those times, their qualification is something that has not happened very often for the Pioneers' program, and in the case of the women's program, never before in its history.
Dill, from Erie, Pa., and Jiraskova, from the Czech Republic, are the first Point Park women's runners ever to qualify for the national meet. Grunn, from Honesdale, Pa., is only the second Point Park men's runner to qualify and the first since Jesse Bender did so twice in 2004-05.
Below is a summary of times this year for Grunn, Jiraskova and Dill:
|St. Vincent||Sept. 22||26:53||5th|
|Carnegie Mellon||Oct. 6||27:00||44th|
|Walsh (5K)||Oct. 27||16:34||15th|
|KIAC Meet||Nov. 3||27:33||9th|
|Waynesburg (6K)||Sept. 5||26:13||23rd|
|St. Vincent||Sept. 22||21:03||17th|
|Carnegie Mellon||Oct. 6||20:27||62nd|
|KIAC Meet||Nov. 3||19:57||2nd|