Kirk Heads To NCAA Cross Country Championships

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. --- UAB's Elinor Kirk will represent the Blazers this weekend when she runs in the 2013 NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind.

Indiana State University will serve as host to the Championships on Saturday, Nov. 23 at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course for the 10th time in the last 12 years. The women's race will start at 12:15 p.m. CST.

Kirk qualified for the meet by finishing fifth last Friday at the NCAA South Regional Championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala. 

The graduate student from Swansea, Wales is the third UAB student-athlete to qualify for the NCAA Cross Country Nationals. Elizabeth Ambrus (2005) and Melissa Hopkins (1998) are the other two Blazers who competed at the NCAA Championships.

Kirk, who has had an unbelievable 2013, winning high point honors at the Conference USA Indoor Championships as well as qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 5,000-meter run, remains humble and take her success all in stride.

"I just feel really lucky to have had the opportunity to come here and run for UAB., " said Kirk. "Had I not come here none of this would have happened. I'm just really grateful for the opportunity I've had and for Tony and Mary being great coaches."

"The NCAA's are such a tough competition, so I just feel really lucky to be one of the athletes who made it. I'm just going to go out there and try and enjoy it."

Her UAB cross country coach, Tony Houchin, says he continues to be amazed at Kirk's progression to this point since her arrival at UAB.



"The progress that she's made you really can't predict," Houchin said. "It's really been pretty phenomenal, and I really can't attribute it to any one thing. We're real lucky this is a once in a career kind of athlete."

"She's real quietly competitive," Houchin said. "We're around her quite a bit and you wouldn't know it, but once the gun goes off she's a beast. She's one of the people that really enjoys the process. I don't think she does it for any particular end result, I think she does it because she likes doing it."

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