The men's and women's cross country teams travelled to Pittsburgh, PA to compete in the KIAC championships, hosted by Point Park. Brisk temperatures and a tough course proved to be a challenge for all competitors.
The meet began with the women's race. In a tactical race, throughout, the Lady Bearcats finished 4th. The team had won the previous three years. Courtney Naas (Fr.) led the team with a 4th place individual finish in a personal best time of 19:50. Her performance earns her a 2nd consecutive National Championships bid. She was followed closely by Olivia Warren (Sr.) who finished 7th with a time of 20:09. Fellow classmate Embra Hawkins placed 11th in 20:24. The scoring was concluded by Cassie King and Samantha Walker, both Seniors.
Head Coach, Alan Schulze had the following comments on the race, "I'm really proud of the competitiveness the girls showed out there today. Courtney and Olivia ran fabulous races and to PR on that course really says something. Most importantly I'm proud of our group of Seniors that have represented our university each of the last 3 years. Unfortunately, we fell a little short this year."
In the men's competition, Tristan Durbin (Fr.) led the team with a 7th place finish in a time of 27:34. The place earned Durbin his first National Championships Qualification of his young career. Classmate, Denis Koske placed 13th while Drew Atkins (Jr.) placed 18th. Chase McCauley (Fr.) and Trey Drury (Jr.) rounded out the scoring to earn the men 3rd place in the conference.
"The men look to have a bright future. Even on a day where we didn't race extremely well, we still got 3rd - and will bring everyone back next year. We had some real bright spots today and are a young squad."
The cross country team is in it's 7th season and has been represented at the NAIA National Championships each year.
This years meet is hosted by Kansas University in Lawrence, KS and will be held on 11/22.