Cross Country

UKXC’s Herman and Bockrath Set for NCAA Championships

by Sommer Thomas

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Senior Perri Bockrath and sophomore Tori Herman from the No. 29 Kentucky women’s cross country team will run in the NCAA Championships on Saturday, November 20 at 10:20 a.m. ET on the 6,000-meter course at Apalachee Region Park. 

The race will be broadcast live on ESPNU and streaming on the ESPN App. Pttiming will provide live results. 

Herman and Bockrath have impressed all season long, finishing first and second for Kentucky at every meet they have competed in. 

A Sophomore Outrunning the Competition 

Herman has proven herself to be an elite runner through her exemplary second season with UKXC. 

She began her 2021 season with a race win at the Commodore Classic 5K (17:02.3) and followed up that race with a personal best 5K time (16:43.4) at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational when she placed 21st. 

At the Florida State University Pre-Nationals meet, Herman raced against some of the best runners in the country, cementing herself as one of them with a 22nd place finish in the 6K (20:16.10). 

Herman ran for a personal best in the 6K at SEC Championships, improving on her time from Notre Dame with a 20:13.20 run and fifth-place finish. She led the team to a fourth-place finish and their lowest (best) point total at an SEC Championship meet since Assistant Coach Hakon DeVries joined the Wildcats in 2012. 

Her SEC Championship run improved by 14 places and 29.50 seconds from her freshman year SEC meet at a different course. 

Her most recent race, NCAA Southeast Regionals at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park, was highlighted by another personal best in the 6K, finishing third overall with a time of 20:09.40. 

She earned All-Region honors for her strong performance and an automatic qualification for NCAA Championships as the first finisher at the meet from a non-qualifying team. 

A Senior Making Huge Strides 

Even as a senior, Bockrath has made significant improvements from her junior to senior cross country season. Just within the 2021 season, Bockrath improved her 5K time by nearly 24 seconds and 6K time by 21 seconds. 

Bockrath had her first competition of her senior season at University of Missouri in the Mizzou Opener 5K where she led the Kentucky women with a ninth-place finish (17:28.30). 

Bockrath also impressed at the Commodore Classic 5K where she finished fourth overall with a 17:28.3 run. 

She earned her personal best cross country 5K at time at Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational two weeks later, placing 52nd with a time of 17:04.6. 

SEC Championships were where Bockrath showed drastic improvement compared to her junior season. She finished 13th (20:40.20), being named to the All-SEC Second Team compared to a 44th place finish (21:27.30) at 2020 SEC Championships. 

She earned another personal best at NCAA Southeast Regional, but this time in the 6K. She finished ninth, earning All-Region honors alongside Herman, with a time of 20:21.10. She narrowly missed automatic qualification as the fifth-place finisher among individuals from non-qualifying teams but was chosen by the NCAA Cross Country Committee to run at NCAA Championships during Saturday’s selection show. 

The two UKXC women will run against seven individuals from each of the 31 teams and 38 individuals from non-qualifying teams, totaling 255 runners. 

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