Nov. 22, 2010
BEAUMONT, Texas -
Matt Johnsen will look to become Lamar University's fourth All America in cross country when he competes at the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., on Monday.
Johnsen, the Southland Conference Freshman of the Year in cross country this season, will be making his second appearance at an NCAA championship. He qualified for the 3,000-meter steeplechase in outdoor track in the spring. he did not compete in cross country last fall.
This is the sixth consecutive year a Lamar runner is competing in the NCAA cross country championships. Lamar's last All-America was in 2008, when Samuel Kosgei placed 37th. Lamar's other All-Americas in cross country are Francis Kasagule in 2006 and 2007 and Gerry Garcia in 1969.
"Matt will be ready for it, he's been in big races before," Lamar coach Jake Stewart said. "He's come along every week."
The 10-kilometer event will be held at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute.
"It's a course specifically for cross country," Stewart said. "It's built just for racing. It has long, gradual hills. It's a very fair course. You have to be a good, well-rounded athlete on this course."
Monday's temperatures are expected to be in the 60s in Terre Haute, with winds approaching speeds of 20 mph.
"I think it was probably colder for the regionals in Waco," Stewart said. "I don't think the weather will be a problem."
Monday's race will be streamed live on the NCAA's Web site at: http://www.ncaa.com/allaccess/index.html?media=212485