K-State cross country season closes with Galvan’s trip to NCAA Championships

(Scott Weaver | K-State Athletics)

After securing a ninth-place finish at the Midwest Regional Championships in Peoria, Illinois, senior runner Laura Galvan is preparing for her second career appearance in the NCAA Championships after being selected as an at-large competitor.

The Guanajuato, Mexico native was selected as one of the 37 at-large bids in the nation on Saturday by being the fifth-best runner in her region that wasn’t on a qualifying team. Also in that meet, Galvan earned All-Midwest Region honors for the third straight year, finishing 16th last year and seventh in the competition in 2012.

Galvan isn’t new to the championship atmosphere, having competed in the race during her sophomore season. In that race, Galvan secured a 45th place finish while breaking the Wildcat all-time 6k race record, notching a time of 20:19.5 in the race.

This season, Galvan has proven that she could improve after failing to make a return trip to nationals last season. The senior started the season with a bang, finishing in second place behind fellow Wildcat, sophomore Morgan Wedekind in the J.K Gold Classic in Wichita, Kansas.

Galvan’s experience as a runner began to show in the second race of the season when she finished in fifth place at the Big 10 preview as she went up against women’s cross country powerhouse Michigan. This performance earned Galvan her third Big 12 runner of the week award of her career.

Just a week later, Galvan finished in sixth place at the Chile Pepper Invitational, outdoing a field that included another powerhouse in women’s cross country in Arkansas.

Now, Galvan makes her return trip to the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, which has hosted 10 of the last 12 national championship meets. Galvan finished 51st earlier in the season as the team finished their regular season slate at the Pre-National Invitational at the very same course, running with a time 21:34.4.

Galvan will run against a condensed field that includes 31 of the best schools in the country that qualified for the meet. She will be joined by 37 other athletes who were voted in as at-large selections.

The women’s national championship race will begin Saturday at 11 a.m. in Terre Haute, Indiana.