The Lee University men’s cross country team finished in 16th place at the NCAA National Championship on Saturday morning. The 10K race was run at Chambers Bay Regional Park in University Place, Washington as a part of the 2022 NCAA Fall Festival.
The Flames had 422 points in the race. Their 16th place was the highest ever finish for the Flames at an NCAA championship beating last year’s 17th place finish.
Aaron Himes led the way for the Flames coming in 74th with a time of 30:57.
Will Stone crossed the line next for Lee with a time of 31:01 coming in 84th. Evan Moore set a personal best with a 31:28 time putting him in 93rd.
Despite losing a cleat halfway through the race, Silas Eckenroad finished in 121st with a time of 31:33. Matthew Fowler was one place behind him in 122nd with a time of 31:34. Ezekiel Harless was 210th with a time of 32:41, and Hayden Judge came in 229th with a time of 33:06.
Head Coach Caleb Morgan was proud of the way the team fought. “It’s difficult to string together three big post season races. We won our first conference title after a three-year drought, we won another regional title. Today stings a little, there were teams we beat early in the year finishing top 10 today.
At the end of the day we are young, resilient, and will come back next year and put together a better performance. As much as we feel like we didn’t perform up to expectations it’s still the best national championship we have ever had. I am really proud of the way these men have dealt with adversity this year. They are fighters, young and resilient, and we will be back next year. “
Colorado School of Mines won the team title with 43 points. The overall individual winner was Dillon Powell of Colorado School of Mines taking the title in 29:28. He won the race by 19 seconds.