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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Lisa Egami to Race at NCAA Cross Country Championships
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 11/15/2009
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Nov. 15, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009
NCAA Cross Country Championships
LaVern Gibson Championship Course, Terre Haute, Ind.
12:58 p.m. ET - Women's 6,000m Championship Race
Live on Versus Cable TV Network and web-streamed online at NCAA.com

PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington State's Lisa Egami was selected to compete as an at-large qualifier at the NCAA Cross Country Championships at Terre Haute, Ind., Monday, Nov. 23. The Cougar senior earned the first cross country championship berth for a WSU woman since Haley Paul in 2005.

Thirty-one teams were selected to participate in each the men's and women's championship. The top two, seven-person teams automatically qualified from each of the nine regions, for a total of 18 teams. Thirteen additional teams were selected at-large. Thirty-eight individuals were selected to participate in each championship through an automatic qualifier and at-large selection process. All individual qualifiers finished in the top 25 in their region.

Indiana State University will host the 2009 NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course located at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center. The men's race will begin at 12:08 p.m. Eastern time followed by the women's race at 12:58 p.m.

WSU cross country coach Pete Julian described Egami's 11th-place finish (21-minutes, 18.2 seconds) at the West Regional Championship Nov. 14, as a break-through race for her.

"It was the best race of her collegiate career," Julian said post-race Saturday. "It would be wonderful to have a representative from the university at the NCAA championships."

Egami, from Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada, returns to the course where she placed 55th with a time of 21:40.8 at the Pre-National meet October 17. She holds the school record in the indoor mile (4:44.92i), was a member of the school-record distance medley relay team, and competed at the NCAA Outdoor Championships last June in the 1500m and her personal-best time of 4:21.25 is the third-fastest in WSU women's history. She is the women's cross country team captain.

"Going to nationals is just an amazing way to finish off my college cross country career," Egami said. "It has been my goal all season to make it to nationals and I'm so excited to compete in Terre Haute next week. After making nationals last spring, I just really wanted to prove to myself that I wasn't a one-hit wonder and I could make it to nationals again. I have always thought of myself as more of a track runner but I knew that I could compete with the women runners in the region, and really wanted to show myself that I could be a competitive cross country runner."

"The start of the season didn't go as well as I wanted it to, so I was really happy to have a bit of a break-through at regionals," Egami continued. "I think over the past months my training has just been really consistent and solid. Pete has a great system that I feel is really focused in making sure you are sharp and ready for the end of the season and championship races. I feel that's exactly how it played out this season. Despite the disappointing start to my season I just focused on keeping a positive mind set, and kept focused on my preseason goals and what I wanted to accomplish."

Egami is the 21st Cougar woman to compete at the NCAA Cross Country Championships and the first since Haley Paul earned All-America status with a 14th-place finish in 2005. Paul was just the third WSU woman to reach All-America in cross country following Everlyne Lagat (2001) and Megan Maynard (1998). The 1983 and 1985 WSU women's teams competed at the NCAA Cross Country Championships while all other women have received at-large berths. All-American honors are given to the top 30 American finishers in the race.

Washington State Cougars Athletics
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