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Georgetown College men's cross country runner Tanner Alexander thought he was not going to nationals, finishing one spot outside the automatic bids. At least that is what men's cross country coach Todd McDaniel thought.
In order to go to the national meet, a runner must finish in the top 15 of the conference meet. Alexander was 16th this past weekend at the Mid-South Conference race. However, the winning team, Shawnee State which can only have seven scoring runners go to nationals, also had several non-scoring runners finish inside the top 15. Because the team is going and only allowed seven, those other runners' times were not counted, giving Alexander a top 15 finish.
This was news that delighted and surprised both runner and coach.
"He did say he preferred it happening the way it did," McDaniel said of his freshman getting the news that he had just missed qualifying only later learning he will be going to Vancouver, Wash. for the Nov. 20 NAIA National Meet.
"It would have been much harder thinking he had qualified only to learn he hadn't."
With Alexander, Georgetown will take four runners - three men and one woman, which is the most it has ever had qualify for nationals.