Sam Bowers runs at the 2020 cross country SEC Championship. (Photo by: Beau Brune) 

The Georgia cross country team sent a runner to the NCAA National Championships for the first time since 2013, with junior Sam Bowers placing 206th in Tallahassee, Florida, on Saturday, Nov. 20.

Though the Bulldogs men’s and women’s teams did not qualify for nationals at the South Regional races on Nov. 12, Bowers’ ninth-place individual finish at regionals earned him his first All-Region honors and booked him his first career trip to the national championships. His placement earned him one of the individual qualifying spots reserved for the top four runners.

Bowers ran a 31:15.4 10k at the Apalachee Park Course, a race that featured 253 racers.

Georgia Track & Field, Georgia Athletics, and Bowers’ high school alma mater, Milton High School, tweeted their well wishes and congratulations before and after Bowers’ race.

BYU’s Connor Matz won the men’s individual national title with a 10k time of 28:33.1, while Northern Arizona claimed the men’s team championship for the fifth time in six years. Iowa State and Oklahoma State rounded out the top three men’s teams.

The Bulldogs runners will continue competing with the start of the indoor track and field season, set to begin with the Clemson Invitational in Clemson, South Carolina, on Jan. 14-15.