UK cross country trio to take on NCAA Championships

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Three University of Kentucky cross country runners, Cally Macumber, Chelsea Oswald and Luis Orta, will compete in the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships at E.P. Tom Sawyer Park on Saturday.

Macumber, Oswald and Orta will be the first Wildcats to participate in the NCAA Cross Country Championships since Kentucky qualified as a team in 2008. They are the first individual qualifiers for the Wildcats since Allison Grace in 2005.

“Cally and Chelsea might be the most experienced runners on the course on Saturday,” women’s cross country coach Hakon DeVries said. “They have run it many times, probably more than anyone else, and that should play to their advantage. I’m glad they have each other to key off during the race.

“This is what they’ve put in all the hard work for. I’m really excited to see them go out and compete.”

Macumber and Oswald are both enjoying two of the best individual seasons in program history.

Macumber, a junior in cross country, has won three races this season, and she has finished in the top 10 at every meet she has entered.

Oswald extended her season-long streak of top-25 finishes to six at regionals. The senior has placed inside the top 10 at all but one competition in 2012.

Luis Orta is also having a great senior season as his time of 30:08.32 at Regionals was more than 30 seconds faster than his time at the same meet in 2011.

“We are very excited for Luis to compete in the NCAA Championships,” men’s cross country coach Jason Dunn said. “One more strong race for him this weekend will put an exclamation point on a great season. Our team has also made significant progress this fall and it’s great to have Kentucky represented at the National Championships again.”

All three runners were named to the USTFCCCA All-Region teams, and all of them were also All-SEC selections.

Macumber is coming off two consecutive championship races as she won both the SEC Championships and the NCAA Southeast Regional.

Kentucky has already competed in two meets at Sawyer Park this season. The women’s race will begin at noon ET, followed by the men’s race at 1:15 p.m. ET.

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