Spencer Head sprints at the end of the race. (Photos courtesy of NAIA)
Story by Chase Burgess
The men’s Cross Country team took part in the National Championship race at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, Kan., on November 23. The team placed 23rd in the 32 team field with a total of 570 team points.
The Vikings were paced by freshman Spencer Head (Camas, Wash) who placed 48th in the 321 runner field with a time of 25:25 in the 8k (5 miles). Freshman Phillip Cheriyout (Nairobi, Kenya) placed 99th with a time of 25:53. Senior Ignacio Franco finished third for the Vikings, placing 196th overall with a time of 26:38. Freshman Nolan Ryan (St. Peters, Mo.) finished 200th with a time of 26:42, and Senior Kenneth Kipngetich (Nairobi, Kenya) rounded out the scoring for the Vikings placing 239th with a time of 27:12. Also running were senior Chase Burgess (Lamar, Mo.) placing 259th with a time of 27:30, and junior Will Lee (Strafford, Mo.) placing 277th with a time of 27:55.
Nolan Ryan finishes strong
The men’s team entered the meet in the “others receiving votes” category. However, they beat three ranked teams including: 19th Concordia University (Neb.), 21st Rocky Mountain College (Mont.), and 25th Southwestern College (Kan.). The team finished right behind 22nd University of St. Mary (Kan.), trailing them by two points.
Fifth ranked Oklahoma City University won the team championship with a team total of 77 points.
The Vikings qualified for the race by winning the HAAC conference meet on November 9. The conference championship was the second ever for the program, also winning the crown in 1986.
The finish line at Rim Rock Farm