|2011 MCC Champs|
Goshen, Ind. - The HU men’s cross country team dominated the MCC Championships on Saturday at Shanklin Park in Goshen, Indiana, to capture the conference title for the fifth time in program history and earn an automatic bid the 56th annual NAIA National Cross Country Championships to be held on November 19 at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, Washington.
The Foresters’ average time was 25:48, ten seconds faster than second place Goshen College.
Leading the way was Joseph Herber who ran to a first place finish in 24:55. His closest competitor was Spring Arbor’s Kyle Anderson who finished in 25:01. Teammate Alec Rosario established a new PR of 25:27 good for 4th place. Lance Wood crossed the line 8th in 25:46.
Finishing within four seconds of each other and establishing new personal bests was Nathan Rupp (18th, 26:24) and Brian Menzie (20th, 26:28). Seth Murphy (27:51) and Ethan Medley (28:27) rounded out HU’s top seven runners by finishing 40th and 50th respectively. Other HU runners included Isaiah Laatsch (28:38) and Alan Huffman (31:30).
The last time the Foresters competed at the NAIA National Championships as a team was in 2008 when they finished 10th.
HU claimed the title with 51 points followed by Goshen (55), Spring Arbor (76), Indiana Wesleyan (100), Taylor (130), Grace (152), Bethel (191), Marian (227), Mount Vernon (240) and Saint Francis (249).
Coach Tom King was named Co-Coach of the Year as voted on by his MCC peers. Herber, Rosario and Wood each earned a spot on the All-Conference Team.
In the final NAIA Men’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll released Sunday, the Foresters moved up to No. 27 with 106 votes.
The Huntington women’s cross country team ran to a third place finish at the MCC Championships. Gretchen Spahr ran a spectacular race for the Foresters to qualify for the NAIA National Championships as an individual. She ran an 18:30, shattering her previous PR by over 20 seconds, to finish second overall and earn All-Conference honors. Her Joining her on the All-Conference Team was Cendall Ogle who finished 10th in 18:58 and Erin Rockey who turned in a PR of 19:07 to place 15th.
Natalie Spahr crossed the line in a new personal best of 19:22 for 19th place. Krystal McHenry ran to a 28th place finish in 19:57 and Miranda Boyts (20:33) and Amanda Henningfield (21:02) established new PRs to finish 109th and 151st respectively.
Indiana Wesleyan took top honors with 43 points followed by Spring Arbor (59), HU (74), Taylor (80), Marian (161), Bethel (174), Mount Vernon (187), Goshen (189), Saint Francis (257) and Grace (incomplete).
In the final NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll released Sunday, the Foresters moved up to No. 27 with 71 votes. Team and individual qualifiers for the 2011 NAIA Women's Cross Country National Championships will be announced today by 5 p.m. CST.
The 32nd annual event will take place at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, Washington, on November 19.