Gus Quinonez finished sixth to lead the UC Irvine men's cross-country team to a third-place finish at the NCAA District 8 meet at Fresno's Woodward Park Saturday.
The Anteaters qualified for the NCAA championship meet at Charlottesville, Va., Nov. 23.
This is Irvine's second straight trip to the national meet, where the Anteaters placed 11th last year.
Quinonez, a senior, covered the 10,000-meter course in 30 minutes 29.1 seconds for the Anteaters, who finished behind winner Arizona and second-place Washington.
Senior Richard Graves was 20th (30:57.4). Graves, Irvine's No. 1 runner all season and the Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. champion, was slowed by a stomach disorder.
The UCI women's team, paced by Buffy Rabbitt's fifth-place finish, was second behind Oregon, which took the top three individual spots.
Oregon earns the automatic bid to the national meet. The Anteaters must wait until Tuesday for a possible berth when the NCAA announces its at-large bids.
Rabbitt covered the 5,000-meter course in 16:45.8.