Two weeks after a fourth place conference finish, junior runner Tia Harris in sixth place at the Midwest Regional and punched her ticket to the NCAA national meet.
“Tia Harris had a breakout season and turned herself into one of the best runners in the conference. She is only the third Falcon ever to qualify for the national meet (male or female),” said Co-Head Coach Scott Sekelsky.
This season was only Harris’ second season running on the UW-River Falls team. Last season Harris was a middle of the pack runner, around the fifth or sixth runner, before ending the season as the team’s third runner.
At last season’s regional meet, Harris ran a then personal best time of 23:14, good enough for 60th at the meet. This year, she covered the 6k course in 22:07, her new personal best. The time is also the third best time in school history.
In addition to etching her name into the individual record books, Harris was a part of the most successful women’s cross country season in program history. The team finished third place in the WIAC, only eight points in back of nationally ranked Stevens Point. The team also had three runners named to All-WIAC teams. It was the first time UWRF had more than one runner, male or female, on the all conference teams.
In the last two meets, Harris has been named to both the All-WIAC first team, as well as the All-Region team. At nationals, Harris has the chance to add All-American to that list.
The last Falcon runner to qualify for nationals was Becca Jordahl, who qualified in both 2007 and 2008.
The national meet will be held on Saturday, Nov. 23, in Hanover, Ind.