Nelson runners lead US teams

Nelson runners Craig Lautenslager and Josie Wilcox finished their 2012 season by leading their United States university teams at their NCAA Regional Championship races last Saturday.

Lautenslager placed 27th at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) South Central Region Meet in Fayetteville, Arkansas, covering the 10km course in 31min 36sec.

Lautenslager was the top first-year university student finisher and was more than a minute ahead of the second University of Texas at Arlington runner.

His team finished 11th, despite two of their top three runners having to withdraw from the race.

Matt Russ, Lautenslager's former Athletics Nelson team-mate who attends the University of North Texas, finished 48th in 32min 39sec.

Wilcox placed 28th at the NCAA Midwest Region Meet in Springfield, Missouri, to lead the University of Tulsa women's team to a fifth place finish. Wilcox clocked 21min 34sec on the 6km course.

Harry Dixon was the No 2 man on the Eastern Michigan University team at the NCAA Great Lakes Region Meet at Verona, Wisconsin. Dixon finished 42nd and ran 32min 3sec on the 10km course, and his Eastern Michigan team placed 13th overall.

Only the top two teams and top four individuals not on those teams in the 11 NCAA Regional Meets automatically qualify for the NCAA Cross Country Championships next week in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Nelson Mail