Wed, Nov. 23, 2011 - [Cross Country Men]
Vancouver, WA—Emmanuel's inaugural cross country season ended this weekend at the NAIA National Cross Country Championships held at Fort Vancouver State Park in Vancouver, WA.
"I couldn't be any more proud with the way our season played out," praised Coach Larios. "Our guys and girls demonstrated all the qualities we expected from them. They bought into our mission and vision. It all culminated with three guys making it to the NAIA nationals. For a first year program, we took three of the top five individual qualifying spots. Ethan, Leo, and Rashaun learned a lot about what it takes to compete at the national level."
SSAC Freshman Runner of the Year, Leonel Ayala led the Lions at nationals. His time of 26:52 was rather impressive for his third 8K in three weekends. Ayala time was good enough to land him the 231st place. Ethan Alexander and Rashaun Tanner finished 271st and 272nd, respectively, in 27:29 and 27:31.
"These guys now understand the difference of running very well at the conference level, and running very well at the national level. With thousands of NAIA distance runners, when you start to get down to the top five percent, it gets very, very competitive. A matter of thirty seconds could mean seventy to one hundred places," added Larios. "But, as far as freshman go, these guys got a taste of what it will take to lead our team here in the future."
The distance runners will now take a short break before beginning the indoor track season at Clemson University.