Galvan Secures At-Large Bid to NCAAs

MANHATTAN, Kan. - K-State Cross Country senior Laura Galvan earned an individual at-large bid to compete at the NCAA Cross Country Championship Saturday, Nov. 22, the NCAA announced earlier today. Taking place in Terre Haute, Indiana, this will be Galvan's second career appearance, and first since 2012, at the national meet.

Earning one of the Midwest Region's six at-large bids, Galvan will compete against a field that includes 31 qualifying schools and 37 other individuals that earned at-large bids among the country's nine regions.

The Guanajuato, Mexico, native secured the at-large berth with a ninth place finish at the Midwest Regionals on Nov. 19. Finishing outside the automatic qualifying individual top-four, Galvan won an at-large bid by being the fifth-place non-championship team individual in the Midwest Regional and finishing higher than any other fifth place finisher across this week's regional championship competition - she finished the 6K race in 20:28.3.

"I'm very proud of her," said head coach Ryun Godfrey. "She has worked hard and I think she is very deserving of this. She is experienced and she's been through this before."

In 2012, Galvan received her first individual at-large bid after placing seventh at the Midwest Regional and earning the first of three career All-Midwest Region honors. She would go onto place 45th overall at the national meet, breaking the women's 6K record in the process by clocking in at a time of 20:19.5 - the 6K record was previously held by former All-American Beverly Ramos running in a time of 20:21 during the 2008 season.

This year, Galvan's ninth place finish awarded her All-Midwest Region honors for the third-consecutive year. It also marked the seventh-consecutive season the women have had a runner named to the All-Midwest Region team - she was joined by teammate Morgan Wedekind, who took 25th in the regional.

The NCAA qualification caps off what has been a strong senior season for Galvan. She opened the 2014 campaign with a runner-up performance at the J.K. Gold Classic Duals and earned All-Big 12 honors with an 11th place finish at the Big 12 Championship on Nov. 1. Along with her All-Region honors, Galvan was also named Big 12 Runner of the Week for her top-five performance at the Big Ten Preview in September.

"Obviously, this being her senior year it is something she wants to get back to," Godfrey said.  "She probably put a little bit of pressure on herself, I think she is relieved and feels good about making a return on the trip."

With action set to start next weekend, fans can follow along by visiting the NCAA Championship homepage at NCAA.com.