Martinez Set to Run at NAIA Championship

VANCOUVER, Wash. – On Friday a field of 37 team, 81 individuals will compete in the 64th Annual NAIA Men’s Cross Country National Championship. The event will be held in Vancouver, Washington at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. Midland University’s CJ Martinez has earned his first national championship bid as an individual.

Martinez, a sophomore from Fremont, Nebraska, finished 12th at the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Championship on November 9. His ran an average mile of 5:13 and completed the 8,000m course in 25:56.2. That time is just off his season-best of 25:55.7 which he ran back on October 12 at the Dordt Invitational.

Familiar faces and teams running alongside Martinez will be the men’s teams from Dordt and a pair of runners from Morningside.

The men’s race will be first in the morning beginning at 10:30 a.m. PST (12:30 p.m. CST) with the women’s race to follow at 11:30 a.m. PST (1:30 p.m. CST).

This is the sixth year that the championship will be hosted in Vancouver, Wash. The Cascade Collegiate Conference serves as the host for the national championship.

The field is made up of 24 automatic team qualifiers, one host berth and 12 at-large team berths. A team can automatically qualify by winning the conference championship meet or by being the meet runner-up (for conferences with more than one automatic qualifier) that is ranked in the Top 30 final poll.

In addition to the team qualifiers and at-large bids, 81 athletes will compete as individual qualifiers. To see a full list of teams and individuals, CLICK HERE.

Fans can watch the post-race awards ceremony free. The national championship event takes place on November 22. To access the live video stream of the ceremony, CLICK HERE.