Harris set for nationals opportunity

Senior Blake Harris (Fort Wayne, Ind.) represents Manchester University at the 2017 NCAA Division III cross country Championships Saturday, Nov. 18.

Meet details: The men's 8K starts at 12 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (11 a.m. CST) at Principia College's North Farm cross country course in Elsah, Ill. … Live results, video and more are accessible via the national championships' website at http://www.principiaathletics.com/sports/2017/8/22/2017-ncaa-diii-cross-country-national-championships.aspx ... Harris' berth marks the first time a Spartans' men's athlete has been in the national field since 2013, but Manchester University is a commonplace site at the championships qualifying at least one individual in nine of the last ten years … MU's best individual finish at nationals was 85th by former standout Andy Williams in 2009.

Spartan Shorts: While a durable finish is what Coach Geoff Lambert's competitor is hoping for, he also sees the bigger picture with the national meet opportunity. "It means I have another week to be an MU runner," he said. "That's fun for me. I love that I get to represent the school, my teammates and the program (at the meet). Being a part (of Manchester University cross country) has meant the world to me. I've grown so much being a part of it as a runner and more importantly as a person. I feel so thankful for my experience, and everyone that helped make it possible." … Harris' season resume is an impressive one. He's the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference individual champion; an all-region honoree after placing 11th at the Great Lakes meet last weekend as the highest finishing league individual by 17 spots; was a runner-up in the small school section of the Indiana Intercollegiate Championships; and was the second-highest finishing NCAA Division III runner in the small school Greater Louisville Classic event.