Columbus State Men's Cross Country Finishes 18th at National Championship
Louisville, KY – Meshack Koyiaki nearly had the perfect season winning every race he has competed in 2010, but was unable to cap off the magical run finishing second at the NCAA Cross Country Championship, held at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer Park.
Koyiaki (30:46) finished three seconds behind Michael Crouch (30:43) of Queens University, this coming after Koyiaki had beaten Crouch in the Southeast Regional on Crouch's home course. In fact, the Kenya native has bested Crouch three times this season in meets they both ran in.
Crouch sat out the 2009 season as he dealt with a hernia, but in 2008, the California native finished third in the Championship race while Koyiaki finished ninth a year ago. Both runners received All-American honors, as the top 40 finishers received the distinction by the U.S Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
The race was run under adverse conditions as snow hit the area over the previous couple of days, adding to the difficulty of the course.
Nicholas Kering was the second Cougar to cross the line, coming in 49th place with a time of 31:52. It is the second straight year Kering has placed in the top 50 as he took home 27th place a year ago. David Marley finished in a slew of runners, finishing in a time of 33:38.2 for 126th. Ian Edwards (167th, 34:56.5) and Andy Henderson (178th, 36:19) rounded out the team scoring for CSU. Nathan Prickett (179th, 36:39.4) and Stephen Bowers (180th, 37:27.8) also ran for the Cougars.
Columbus State finished with a team score of 475 and an 18th place finish. It is the highest place the team has had at the National Championship. Adams State won the team title with a score of 57 points. They were led Brandon Birdsong who came in fourth.
Naomi Tanui was the lone Lady Cougar to compete in the Women's Cross Country Championship, finishing in 130th with a time of 23:58.1. It is the second straight year she has ran in the race as the CSU women's team made their first-ever appearance a season ago.
Neely Spence of Shippensburg was the Individual Champion coming in with a time of 20:41.2, 15 seconds ahead of the second place finisher. Grand Valley State won the team title with a total of 66 points, besting the seven-time defending champions Grizzlies of Adams State.