UNI will compete against their most diverse field of the season. At the Midwest regional, 10 different conferences and nine different states will be represented including the Big 12, Big East and Big Ten conferences. Thirty-five women's teams will be represented at the regional, including three teams that are ranked in the most recent coaches' poll.
The top-two teams in each race and the top-four individuals in each race not on an advancing team will automatically move on to the next round.
The UNI women that will suit up for the NCAA Regional are the top-seven finishers from the MVC Meet. Seniors Scotti Schon, Allison Fick, Hayley Thomas, April Davidshofer and Lindsey Wilkins will lead the way for the Panthers with true freshmen Hanna Martin and Callie Matthews running in their first NCAA meet.
The Panthers are coming off a top-notch performance at the Missouri Valley Conference Cross Country Championships where UNI placed fifth overall. Schon led the Panthers, finishing in ninth overall and earning All-Conference honors.
Schon recovered from mono early in the season, but has shined since for the Panthers. Her time of 17:55 at the MVC Championships was almost two minutes faster than the time she posted at last year's championship race and placed her eighth all-time at UNI.
Fick came in second for the Panther, placing 13th overall with a time of 18:05. Fick returned this season after placing 42nd overall last year and improved her time from last season by over a minute.
Finishing in 21st place overall, Thomas notched a time of 18:14. An All-MVC performer from last year, Thomas improved her time at the MVC Championships by several seconds on the 5K course.
The Panthers are also coming off a strong season in the classroom with three student-athletes being named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete teams.
Brett Egan is a double-major in mathematics and education. Egan currently carries a 3.91 cumulative grade-point-average. The senior finished in 11th place at the MVC Championships with a time of 24:54 on the 8k course, shaving over a minute off of his time from the 2011 MVC Championships.
Schon is a double-major in communications and public relations. Schon carries a 3.83 grade-point-average. Allison Fick is majoring in biology. Fick has secured a 3.91 cumulative grade-point-average.
The Panthers will be running on the Missouri State cross country course that was built in the fall of 2007. The 6K course features an all grass loop that meets all NCAA championships requirements.
The 2012 NCAA Cross Country Midwest Regional is set to start with the women's 6K race at 12:00 p.m.