ELON, N.C. – Senior Luis Vargas of the Elon University men’s cross country team is set to compete at the 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 22, in Terre Haute, Ind. Vargas will compete in the men’s 10K race, which is slated to begin at 1 p.m. on the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course.
Vargas became the first runner in program history to qualify for the national meet after capturing the NCAA Southeast Regional Championship on Nov. 14, in Louisville. The event was the first regional crown for the Angier, N.C., native who finished the 10K race with a time of 30:05.78, eight seconds faster than the second-place runner. For his efforts, Vargas was rewarded as the Southeast Regional Athlete of the Year on Tuesday, Nov. 18.
Vargas also heads into the meet unbeaten in each of his six races that he has competed in this season, the only Division I men’s runner that can make that claim. He set a new school record in the 8K at the Colonial Athletic Association Championships on Nov. 1, becoming Elon’s first-ever conference champion in its new league. Vargas clocked a time of 24:11.37 – nearly 55 seconds faster than the runner-up – and was named the CAA’s Most Outstanding Performer at the meet while helping the Phoenix men’s team to its best finish ever at a conference meet at the Division I level.
Earlier this season, Vargas had an early preview to this weekend’s meet at the NCAA Pre-Nationals on Oct. 18. Vargas won his race, the men’s 8K white run, with a time of 24:20.3. That time was the eighth-fastest among all the men’s races at the meet featuring the top individual runners in the country.
Other notable performances for Vargas this season includes running a 23:30.9 in the five-mile run at the Notre Dame Invitational on Oct. 3, and helping the men’s team win its third straight home meet, the Elon Invitational. On Sept. 19, at the adidas XC Challenge, Vargas set a new WakeMed Soccer Park course record in the 5K with a time of 14:29, breaking the previous mark held by former NC State All-American Ryan Hill.
The meet will be streamed live through ncaa.com with links available through the cross country schedule page at elonphoenix.com. Other updates will be available on Twitter through the team’s handle @eu_xctf or @elonscores.