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Abbott to Compete In NCAA National Meet

Junior Alyssa Abbott will compete in the NCAA National Cross Country Meet on Nov. 24 in Terre Haute, Ind. after finishing ninth at the Mountain Region Championships last week.

Junior Alyssa Abbott will compete in the NCAA National Cross Country Meet on Nov. 24 in Terre Haute, Ind. after finishing ninth at the Mountain Region Championships last week.

Nov. 20, 2008

SALT LAKE CITY - Junior Alyssa Abbott from the University of Utah women's cross country team will be competing in the 2008 NCAA National Cross Country Meet in Terre Haute, Ind. on Monday, November 24. The event will be held at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center beginning at 12:00 p.m. EST and will be televised live on CBS College Sports.

This marks the first time the Utes have sent a female representative to the national meet since 2004 when Elise Greenwood-Bahr had the honor. Abbott has had an amazing season, but rightfully earned her spot in the championship after last week's showing at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships. On a last minute decision, the Ute competed despite a painful IT band injury. She finished ninth out of 127 athletes, posted a new personal best time of 20:52.4, and garnered all-region honors on top of it all.

"Even though I have struggled with injuries this season, the end result has been worth the pain and hard work. I feel like I have become a much tougher competitor, especially mentally. I wasn't, however, alone in my endeavor. I have been fortunate to have amazing support from my family, coach and teammates. They have given me the motivation and inspiration that I needed to get through the season, despite being injured," said Abbott. "This season has taught me that I can always count on the people that care about me and that perseverance really does pay off. I could not be more excited to represent my team and the entire school on the big stage!"

Head coach Kyle Kepler is more than pleased with the success of Abbott and his team as a whole with their season accomplishments. The women's cross country team finished third at the Mountain West Conference Championship and sixth at the NCAA Mountain Region Championship. Abbott crossed the line first for Utah in both races.

 

 

"For me as a coach, this is gratifying. This is a huge step for our program. Even though we are only taking one person to compete, her team is behind her all of the way. It is almost a sense of carrying the torch," said Kepler. "They are very close-knit and everyone in the program had something to do with this. Obviously this is exciting for Alyssa because it is her first NCAA national qualification. Earlier she had the best race of her career (Pre-Nationals), but since then has run a couple of better ones. As far as goals and placing for the national meet, we're not concerned with it. We are just going to run a good race and really concentrate and push on the last 2K of the race."
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