NCAA XC Qualifiers From GNAC Announced
Alaska's Rosie Fordham (131) and Kendall Kramer (132) qualified individually while the WWU women earned their first team berth since 2019.
Alaska's Rosie Fordham (131) and Kendall Kramer (132) qualified individually while the WWU women earned their first team berth since 2019.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023
by Evan O'Kelly

INDIANAPOLIS – Three Great Northwest Athletic Conference cross country teams and four individual runners were selected for the NCAA Cross Country Championships, as the field for the Division II championship meet was announced on Monday.

2023 NCAA Cross Country Championships
Saturday, November 18 – Tom Rutledge Cross Country Course – Joplin, Missouri
Host: Missouri Southern State University
Women’s 6k Championship: 11 a.m. (EST)
Men’s 10k Championship: 12:15 p.m. (EST)
Watch Live:
Live Results:

Both the Western Washington men’s and women’s teams qualified for the final meet of the 2023 season, as did the Alaska Anchorage men’s team. Individually, Alaska’s Kendall Kramer and Rosie Fordham and Saint Martin’s junior Cassidy Walchak-Sloan qualified on the women’s side, while Central Washington’s Johan Correa qualified on the men’s side.

It is the second straight year that the Viking men have qualified for the NCAA Championships, after taking 14th place as a team at last year’s event. Overall it is the 12th time the WWU men have qualified, with their top finish being fourth place at the 2008 event.

For the Seawolves, it marks the 15th time in program history and first time since 2018 that the men’s team has qualified for the NCAA Championships. UAA’s men have twice finished third at the Division II Championships, in 2012 and again in 2015.

For the Viking women, it marks the ninth national qualifying team and the first since the 2019 season. WWU’s top women’s team finish at the championship meet was in 2015 when they placed sixth.

Kramer, who won both the GNAC Championship and NCAA West Region Championship titles, will join with Fordham to represent the Nanooks at the NCAA Championships for the third consecutive season. Kramer placed eighth at last year’s meet to earn All-America honors, while Fordham placed 43rd in 2022. Overall it is the sixth time in program history that Alaska has been represented at the championships, with individuals competing in 2005, 2011, 2021, 2022 and 2023 and the lone team qualification coming in 2017.

Walchak-Sloan becomes the third woman in Saint Martin’s history to represent her school at the NCAA Championships, after placing seventh at the regional meet in Monmouth, Ore. Walchak-Sloan joins 2022 participant Alauna Carstens, who placed 74th, and 2016 competitor Shannon Porter, who earned All-America status with a 24th-place finish.

Correa stole the show at Saturday’s regional meet, emerging victorious for the fourth time in his debut cross country season to secure his spot at the championship meet. The 2023 GNAC Newcomer of the Year, Correa has won every race he has run this fall save for a runner-up finish at the GNAC Championships. He becomes just the second Wildcat man to qualify for the NCAA Championships, joining Sam Scotchmer who placed 80th at the 2007 event.

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