Cedar Rapids and Mount Mercy University are thrilled to be hosting the 2018 and 2020 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Men’s & Women’s Cross Country National Championships at Seminole Valley Cross Country Course. Approximately 320 male and 320 female runners, along with 1,500 fans will attend the events generating over $500,000 in visitor spending each year.
Hosting the championship events also means that that pre-meets will be scheduled in 2018 and 2020, offering teams the opportunity to experience the Seminole Valley Cross Country Course one month prior to the November championship race. Each of these pre-meets will bring in an estimated $100,000 in visitor spending.
“Hosting these national championships is a big win for Cedar Rapids,” said Aaron McCreight, GO Cedar Rapids President & CEO. “The Seminole Valley Cross Country Course is a great example of how collaborating to enhance community facilities can pay great dividends.”
The process to win the NAIA Men’s & Women’s Cross Country National Championships began seven years ago with a meeting between GO Cedar Rapids, the City of Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation Department and Mount Mercy University’s Athletic Department. The lack of a championship level course in the area led to the creation of the Seminole Valley Cross Country Course by the Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation Department with fundraising assistance from GO Cedar Rapids and Mount Mercy University. In 2015, Mount Mercy University hosted the first collegiate cross country event, the Seminole Valley Stampede, on the course. In June 2016, the successful bid to host the 2018 and 2020 National Championships was submitted.
“This is an opportunity we've been looking forward to for several years,” said Laurie Haman, Mount Mercy University President. “It will allow us to showcase two very exciting things -- the history and growth of Mount Mercy University and the work that went into developing our home cross country course."
Past NAIA Men’s & Women’s Cross Country National Championships have been held in Elsha, IL, Charlotte, NC and Lawrence, KS.
NAIA Men’s & Women’s Cross Country National Championships Event Dates:
November 15-17, 2018 (Thursday set up, Friday practice, Saturday championship)
November 19-21, 2020 (Thursday set up, Friday practice, Saturday championship)