TERRE HAUTE, Ind.   --  For the first time in nearly 30 years, the University of Delaware women’s cross country squad will have a competitor at this week’s NCAA Women’s Cross Country Championships at Indiana State University.

Senior Lindsay Prettyman, a native of Newark, Del. (St. Mark’s High School), will represent the Blue Hens when she competes at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center course. The men’s race will begin at 12 noon ET followed by the women’s race at 1:15 p.m.

Prettyman, who qualified for nationals thanks to a 20th place finish at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional meet last week at Lehigh, becomes just the fourth UD women’s runner in school history to qualify for the national meet and the first since Kim Mitchell competed for the second time in her career in 1984.

For her finish at the regional meet, Prettyman earned a spot on the USTFCCCA All-Mid Atlantic Region team.

“I am really excited to represent UD at the cross country nationals, especially since it's the first time a UD runner has qualified in 29 years,” said Prettyman, who has led the Blue Hens in 17 of her last 18 meets since the 2011 season. “It really shows how much our team is improving as a whole because I couldn't have come this far without my teammates working hard all season long by my side. I'm excited to go out to Indiana and see what I can do.”

Sandy Gibney, Jody Campbell, and Kim Mitchell were Delaware’s first national cross country championship qualifiers at the 1981 AIAW Nationals in Pocatello, Idaho with Gibney earning All-American honors with a 16th place finish. Campbell and Mitchell did not compete. Mitchell then competed at the NCAA Championships three years later in 1984 when she placed 78th overall at Penn State.

“Lindsay has definitely set the stage for other student-athletes to follow,” said Delaware second-year head coach Wendy McFarlane. “Her performance improvement year to year just goes to show how our cross country and track and field programs facilitate success. She is competitive not only with her opponents but with herself and is never satisfied.  Lindsay challenged herself by putting in the work that is required for further success. That is how I knew she would excel in this discipline and any other event she put her mind to. Not only is Lindsay a good athlete, she is a good person, she is humble, respectful, and a pleasure to work with.”

The NCAA fields includes 31 teams and 38 individuals vying for the team and individual titles. Results and updates will be available at www.ncaa.com.

Prettyman will not be the only UD women’s cross country runner competing on Saturday. The remaining members of the team will also compete Saturday morning at the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) meet at Van Cortlandt State Park in New York City.