Nov. 18, 2011
TERRA HAUTE, Ind.- It’s been over 30 years since a Marshall cross country runner has made an appearance at the NCAA Championships, but on Monday afternoon senior runner Matt Schiffbauer will have the opportunity to break that streak and become the first Thundering Herd athlete since Kim Nutter in 1979 to run at the national meet.
The Morgantown, W.Va., native has been impressive for the Herd throughout the 2011 season, appearing in five of the team’s six meets en-route to becoming the lone representative of the squad at this year’s championship race. Overall, Schiffbauer has finished first for the Herd in all five of the races he has run, and has individually placed in the top-ten of every race as well.
His best placement came at the Evansville Invitational back in mid-October, when he placed first overall and helped lead the team to a top-three finish. He then finished sixth at the Conference USA Championships with a season-best 8k time of 24:09.8 to gain some momentum heading into the NCAA Regional Meet at the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore last weekend. While there, Schiffbauer claimed the final qualification spot by a mere .1 seconds with a tenth place finish in the 10k race.
Coach Small last week said that he was “really excited for Matt’s accomplishment,” and that “he has worked so hard to accomplish this goal.” Indeed, Schiffbauer has reached a rare milestone for Marshall cross country, and Coach Small will accompany Schiffbauer on the trip and coach him for the final time in the senior’s accomplished career.
The race – which is being hosted by Indiana State University – is set to take place at the Lavern Gibson Championship Course on the outskirts of Terra Haute, Indiana. The course was designed for the sole purpose of Cross Country, and is widely regarded as one of the most spectator friendly courses in the world. Schiffbauer and his competitors will begin the men’s 10k race on Monday at 12:08 p.m. Tickets to the event are $5 a person, and a course map may be found by clicking here.
A free, live webcast of the race will also be offered to viewers on NCAA.com, and the link to the event will be posted on NCAA.com a few hours before start time.