May 30, 2006
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Wyoming sophomore distance runner Mark Korir has received an at-large bid to the 2006 NCAA National Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif., on June 7-10. The 5,000-meters is the event he earned this bid in after coming one place short of automatically qualifying at the regional meet.
At-large positions are determined by an NCAA committee. Within the four regional meets, the top-five finishers in the event at each site received automatic bids. This equals out to 20 competitors. Then the committee determined that six additional athletes will receive at-large bids to nationals. Each athlete that finished within sixth and twelve place were nominated by their coaching staff for the six remaining spots. Of these 28 athletes declared, the committee then took the top-six season best times from the field.
In this case, Korir's season best time of 13:58.86 was in the top-six and falls 16th of the 26 competitors competing in the event. Korir will compete next Wednesday in the preliminaries and then will look to qualify for finals on Friday. To get to the finals, Korir will have to either finish in the top four of the two heats or have his time be in the top-eight of the non-automatic qualifiers.
In Korir's first year as a Cowboy he has posted a list of accolades already. He was the Mountain West Conference Champion in the 5,000-meters, set a new school record in the 3,000-meters, moved to #3 in the 5,000-meters in UW history, and holds the #4 UW all-time mark in the 10,000-meters.
Korir joins Cowgirl junior Kate Burton who automatically qualified for nationals last weekend when she finished fourth in the hammer throw. Burton will compete next Thursday in the preliminaries and will hope to move on to Saturday's finals.