SHELBYVILLE, Indiana -- Among blistering cold temperatures, senior Austin Neura booked his ticket to the NCAA National Championships in Winnecone, Wisconsin next Saturday with a 12th overall finish.
On the women's side, 2017 National Qualifier, Rachel House earned All-Region honors with a 22nd overall finish. House fought through adversity in 2018 after missing the majority of her senior season with an injury.
Neura became the first Heidelberg University male cross country runner to qualify for Nationals since Jordan Karnes accomplished the feat in 2010.
As a team, the women placed 15th overall among a field of 33 teams. The men placed 17th out of 38 schools.
House paced the women finishing the 6K course with a time of 22:39.1. Freshman Brittney Roth crossed the line 38th with a time of 23:05.9. Next for the Berg was Amanda Elkins who finished with a time of 23:47.4, good for 74th overall.
Head coach Brian Grime on the women's impressive performance: "The women ran really well today! We have all seniors and freshmen, so the seniors really stepped up and showed the women what it takes today. The team was six places better than last season. With the recruiting class coming in, we are pumped for where this group is going.
Grime on the leadership of House: "Rachel ran out of her mind...for missing two months of the season. Incredibly thankful for everything she has done for this program."
In the men's 8K, the Student Princes were led by Neura's 12th overall finish as he crossed the line with a 25:24.7. Next on the team, was Alec Waterston who toed the line 107th overall with a time of 26:57.8
Mitchell Luken (27:12.6) and Eric Peterson (27:15.2) finished three seconds apart in 127th and 129th respectively in a tight group. Rounding out the scoring for the Berg was Dakota Freeman with a time of 27:24.0 in 138th place.
Grime on the men's performance: "The men ran great for missing our #2 runner with an injury. Austin finally did what we knew he was capable of...he earned his national qualifier. Only two of our runners have been on a Regional team, so this was a great learning experience. They are very young, and we are excited for the future!"
Neura will be competing in Wisconsin next Saturday, November 17 at the NCAA Division III Championships. The men's race is scheduled to start at 12:45 p.m. EST.