Wisconsin set to host 2018 NCAA Division I Cross Country National Championships

Wisconsin will look to become the first team since 1959 to win a National Championship on its home course in 2018.

Image By: David Stluka

For the first time in 40 years, the biggest race in collegiate cross country will be coming to Madison.

The NCAA announced Tuesday that Wisconsin will host the 2018 NCAA Division I Cross Country National Championships. The men's and women's races will be held Nov. 17 at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course, the Badgers’ current home.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to bring the national championship to Madison,” UW Director of track and field and cross country Mick Byrne told UWBadgers.com. “This is an exciting day for not only the university, but for the city of Madison, all Badger fans and the running community in the Midwest.”

The Zimmer Course, which opened in 2009, is one of a handful of purpose-built cross country courses around the nation. In the past eight years it has hosted the Big Ten Championships and five NCAA regional meets, as well as the prestigious Wisconsin Nuttycombe Invitational.

“Our experience hosting major cross country meets at the Zimmer Championship Course has prepared us to host the National Championship,” Byrne said. “Our goal is to put on a first-class championship that lives up to the expectations of all the student-athletes competing and the fans in attendance.”

The announcement marks a major deviation from the championship’s recent history, as every race since 2003 has been hosted by either Indiana State or Louisville.

Coming off an eighth-place finish at this year’s championship and adding two of the top recruits in the country, Wisconsin’s men’s team could be in contention to become the first team to win a national championship on their home course since Michigan State in 1959.

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