Jess Palacio Set to Compete in the NCAA Championship
Nov. 20, 2011
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Navy senior Jess Palacio will compete in the 2011 NCAA Women's Cross Country Championship on Monday in Terre Haute, Ind. The 6k race is scheduled to begin at approximately 12:58 p.m. and will take place at Indiana State's LaVern Gibson Championship Course.
The NCAA will produce a live webcast of the men's and women's championships from noon to 1:30 p.m. on NCAA.com.
The NCAA Championship
Palacio received a bid to this year's national championship by virtue of finishing as one of the top-four runners not associated with a NCAA Championship-qualifying team at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship. Palacio placed 12th overall with a time of 22:04.7.
The Sun Valley, Nev., native will be the only student-athlete from the Patriot League competing in Monday's national title race.
In total, seven schools from the Mid-Atlantic region will be represented at this year's NCAA Championship, including: Georgetown (team), Maryland, Navy, Penn State (team), Princeton, Villanova (team) and West Virginia (team).
Navy and the NCAA Championship
Palacio will be the first runner since Amy Watson in 2008 to compete at the NCAA Championship. She joins an elite list of runners in program history that have competed at the national championship, including: Watson (2008), Melissa Foon (2000), Rebecca Cline (1997), Jackie Hayes (1995) and Kerry O'Neill (1992).
Foon owns the best finish by a Mid at the event, as she placed 75th in 2000.
Palacio's Terrific Season
Monday's race will cap a stellar cross country career for Palacio. Not only did Palacio earn her second consecutive All-Mid-Atlantic Region honor this season, but also in winning the Patriot League championship, she became the first three-time, First-Team All-Patriot League honoree in Navy history.
She has been Navy's top finisher in all six meets in which she has competed this season and with four individual titles in 2011, she now has a career total of nine.