Simuchimba Represents LSU at NCAA XC Championship

by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
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Simuchimba Represents LSU at NCAA XC Championship

BATON ROUGE — Junior Joseph Simuchimba will represent LSU at the NCAA Cross Country Championships Monday at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind.

The Indiana State-hosted event will be run on the LaVern Gibson Championship Course, the site of the championship event six of the last seven years.

For the first time in history the meet will be broadcast live on CSTV. Complete coverage begins at 11 a.m. (CST). A live webcast of the competition will also be available online at CSTV.com.

The men’s competition gets underway at 11:08 a.m. with the 10K race. The 10K run will be the third of the season for Simuchimba. He has posted a top time of 29.52.1 this year.

Simuchimba is coming off an exceptional performance at the NCAA South Central Regional Championships just over a week ago, where he earned all-region honors by virtue of his eighth-place finish.

The top 30 finishers at the NCAA meet will be recognized as All-Americans for the 2007 season.

“If Joseph goes in and runs like he is capable of running, I believe he can finish in the top 30,” said LSU cross country coach Mark Elliott. “I know he doesn’t want to go to this meet just to compete, he wants to be an All-American.”

Simuchimba will attempt to do that against the most talented field he has faced all season.

“This will be a combination of all the best athletes and all the best teams in the country,” said Elliott. “If Joseph can come out of there with a top 30 finish that would be great.”

A top-30 finish would be just the second in school history for LSU at the NCAA Championships. The only other athlete to crack that barrier was Terry Thornton who finished fourth in 1989.

As it stands, Simuchimba is just the fifth Tiger is school history to advance to the NCAA meet and the first to do so since the 2001 season when Likhaya Dayile earned a trip in 2001.

“This is a huge personal accomplishment for Joseph,” said Elliott. “He has worked hard this season and that has shown.”