SSU Men take seventh at NAIA Championships
SSU Sports Information
VANCOUVER, Wash. – Men’s cross country finished its season with a seventh place finish at the National Championship meet and crowned one All-American Saturday afternoon. This marked a two spot improvement in the team’s finish from last year’s ninth-place finish.
Adam Schroeder became the program’s fourth All-American with his 27th-place finish Saturday afternoon. The junior completed the course in 25:13, tying his career best from earlier this season. His time was tied for 14th-quickest all-time in program history. The All-American now owns three of the quickest 20 times in SSU history.
Jeremy Anderson was the second Bears’ runner to cross the line. He finished in 48th with a time of 25:36. His time was the fourth-quickest of his career and was nearly a 90 spot improvement from his 133rd place finish from last season. Mid-South Runner of the Year Brad Liston was the third SSU runner across the line. He finished in 84th-place, running a time of 25:58.
Breydon Gates was the fourth Bears’ runner to finish. He also finished in the top 100 as he placed 90th overall. That marked a 70 spot improvement in placement from his first national meet last season. His time of 26:03 was tied for the third-quickest time of his career. Joe Stewart was the fifth runner across the line for SSU. He placed 109th, completing the course in 26:13 in what was his first national meet. The time was also the third-fastest of his SSU career.
Seniors Derek Ryan and Eli Gerlach were SSU’s sixth and seventh finishers. Ryan finished 134th for the Bears in his first time running at nationals for SSU. He completed the course in 26:30. Gerlach capped his career at Shawnee State with a 232nd-place finish. His time was 27:25.
There is certainly reason for optimism heading into the offseason and looking ahead to next fall for the team. The team’s top three finishers were all juniors and have another year at Shawnee State, while both Gates and Stewart have two more years left meaning that Shawnee State will return all five of its top runners from this season.
SSU Women finish 27th
All season long, women’s cross country has been trying to prove that it belongs in the national top 25. Today, the Bears took matters into their own hands and placed 23rd as a team at the NAIA National Championships.
Like she did every race this season, senior Kasey Hosier capped a four-year career at Shawnee State with an 88th-place finish in her final cross country race. Her time of 19:22 places her nearly 90 spots higher than last year’s national meet where she finished 163rd overall.
Jamie Retherford was the second Shawnee State runner to cross the finish line. Running in her first national championship, the sophomore nearly cracked the top 100, but ended up 117th with a time of 19:38. Her time was the third-fastest of her career. Halle Richards placed 195th in her first national championship meet. The freshman finished the course in 20:13, the fifth-fastest time of her career.
Arielle Knapp was also competing in her first national championship for the Bears this season. The junior placed 204th in the field, running the course in 20:19. Her time was the third-fastest of her career. Bri Tudor placed 242nd overall in what was also her first national meet. She completed the course in 20:45.
Ashlyn Howie and Megan Day were the Bears’ sixth and seventh finishers. Howie, running in her second national meet, battled through an injury to finish 255th. Her time was 21:00. The second freshman to run for the Bears, Day, finished 259th in her inaugural NAIA Championship. Her time of 21:04 was the fourth-fastest of her career.
Looking ahead, the Bears ran a young team in 2012 and will look to have a solid foundation to compete in the years to come. This was evidenced by the fact that just two runners had previously ran at the NAIA Championships and all but one of their runners that competed today will return for next season.
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