MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State sophomore Laura Galvan is headed to the NCAA Championships next week as she received an at-large bid from the selection committee on Saturday following her impressive performance at the Midwest Regional on Friday. Galvan finished in seventh place with a time of 20:45.72 on Friday and will represent K-State at the E.P. Tom Sawyer Park in Louisville, Ky., in the women’s 6K race on Nov. 17 at the NCAA Championship.
Galvan had two ways to qualify. She could have either qualified automatically as an individual by finishing in the top four overall while not being on a team that advanced to the championship meet or earn an at-large bid. Galvan won an at-large bid by being the fifth-place individual in the Midwest Regional and winning the tiebreaker against a runner in the Mountain Region.
There were 31 teams that qualified and 38 individuals. Out of the 38 individuals, Galvan was the last to qualify.
This will be the fourth time in the last five seasons the Wildcats will be represented in the NCAA Championships individually and the fifth straight season the Wildcats will be represented overall.
Last season, junior Martina Tresch raced to a 47th-place finish at the NCAA Championships. In 2010, the Wildcats as a team placed 25th. Beverly Ramos reached back-to-back NCAA Championships in 2008 and 2009 as a junior and senior respectively. She finished 55th in 2008 and earned a spot on the USTFCCCA Cross Country All-American team in 2009 by placing 33rd.
Coach Michael Smith said he is proud of the way Galvan has run all season and feels she deserved this opportunity.
“She earned her opportunity to go to the NCAA Championships by how she raced all year,” Smith said. “I believe that set her up. Yesterday was the best she had run to date, and she created good momentum entering the NCAA Championships. She has a great opportunity to see how she compares to the nation’s best runners.”
Galvan has already raced once at the E.P. Tom Sawyer Park during the Pre-National Invitational earlier this season. That experience will go a long way toward her preparations for the NCAA Championships.
“We went to the Pre-National meet for a reason, and that was to compete against the nation’s top competition, hoped we would be back, and now we will be,” Smith said. “The first 40 runners who finish will be All-Americans. We have to figure out the best strategy to get her close to that. Where she will finish I am not sure but I know how good she can be. Now, let’s see where that takes her.”