Saint Leo University to Host 2016 NCAA Cross Country National Championships

SAINT LEO, Fla. - The NCAA has awarded the Division II Cross Country National and Regional Championships to Saint Leo University and the Tampa Bay Sports Commission for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

Saint Leo University and the Tampa Bay Sports Commission will host the 2015 NCAA Division II South Regional at the Abbey Course, the same location of the 2013 SSC Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships. The regional will take place Nov. 7 or 8, 2015.

Saint Leo and TBSC will also host the cross country South Regional as well as the NCAA Division II Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships in 2016 at the Abbey Golf Course. The regional is set for Nov. 5 or 6, 2016, while the national championship is scheduled for Nov. 19, 2016.

In total, seven NCAA National Championships were award to SSC institutions through 2018.

"We really want to thank everyone who put in a bid," said Mark Lewis, NCAA executive vice president of championships and alliances. "The competitiveness of the bids made it extremely difficult for the sport committees to select sites as there just weren't spots for all of the great bids we received. Ultimately the sites that were selected will provide our student-athletes, coaches and fans the best experience possible."

In partnering with the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, Saint Leo ensures that fans and participants alike will see the University and Tampa Bay's best foot forward when visiting for the championships.  The TBSC works to unite all interests in the Bay Area under one full-service approach that provides leadership and guidance for the benefit of all parties involved in the bidding and hosting process. They provide a one-stop-shop for all interested parties looking to bring their event to Tampa Bay. 

For more information about the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, visit TampaBaySports.org.

The new NCAA championship bid process creates the largest host site announcement ever, spanning 82 championships across a four-year cycle. Previously, selection announcements varied by sport. This process now gives the NCAA and host sites more time to plan each championship experience.

Bidding for 82 of 89 NCAA championships began in July and 1,984 bid applications were ultimately submitted. Each sport committee, per division, selected the host sites it believed would provide the ultimate experience for the respective student-athletes, resulting in 523 total championship event sites awarded. The seven championships not included in the process due to preexisting site arrangements are: Division I baseball, Division I men's basketball, Division I football, Division I men's and women's golf, Division I softball and Division III women's ice hockey.

For more information on all of the NCAA championship sites awarded, log on to www.ncaa.com/site-selections.