2001 National Championship Preview

The Chico State University cross country team heads to the NCAA Division II National Championships on Saturday in Slippery Rock, Pa with both squads looking to improve on their national rankings.

The Wildcats enter the meet ranked No. 11 in the NCAA Division II National rankings for the men, and No. 16 in the women's rankings.

"The rankings give us a starting place as far as goal setting is concerned. I'm confident that if we run up to our potential as a team we can finish well ahead of these predictions," said Coach Gary Towne.

The 2001 National Championships races will have 24 men's and 24 women's teams toeing the line.

"The course seems to run very slow and will definitely be the most challenging layout that we've run this year. The good thing is that everyone runs the same course and it's going to be tough for everyone involved," said Towne.

"We've done more hill training this year than ever with one primary goal … to do well at the NCAA Championships. Hopefully all of this hard work will pay off for our kids," said Towne.

Leading the men is senior David Braund, who will look to repeat as an All-American, a title he received after placing 30th in 1999 NCAA Championships.

"I'm going to put it on the line, go out and position myself early and hold on. I'm going to try and finish my career off with a bang," said Braund.