Four Former Division II Cross Country Student-Athletes to be enshrined at NCAA Championships

By Keith Nunez, USTFCCCA

November 12, 2008   

NEW ORLEANS – Four former student-athletes will add to their collegiate accolades on Saturday, November 22, 2008 as they are inducted into the Division II Cross Country Athlete Hall of Fame during the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships.

The accomplishments of these four student-athletes during their collegiate cross country careers stand second-to-none. Two-time cross country individual national champion Alfred Rugema of Abilene Christian is joined by fellow national champions Kimberly Bugg of Adams State, Rob Edson of Keene State, and Yi Min Wu of Edinboro in a stellar inaugural class.

The Division II Cross Country Athlete Hall of Fame inductees are selected by the Division II Cross Country Hall of Fame Committee.

The 2008 USTFCCCA Division II Cross Country Athlete Hall of Fame Inductees:

Kimberly Bugg, Adams State College
The Grizzlies’ Bugg is a four-time cross country All-American and a six-time track and field All-American who capped her career with individual national titles in cross country (1998) and the indoor 5-kilometer run. Her finish at the national championships improved each year, with All-American finishes of 16th, 7th, 6th, and 1st during her four years with the Grizzlies. These impressive finishes helped lead Adams State to four straight Division II Cross Country National Championships during her career. Bugg was equally successful in the classroom; she received the 1996-97 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Honor Student-Athlete award, which is the highest honor the RMAC awards for academic and athletic success.

Rob Edson, Keene State University
Keene State’s Edson took a unique journey to his national individual title. An All-American in two years at Colby College, Edson left the collegiate ranks for the working world. Several years later, he returned to his hometown, enrolled at Keene State, and resumed serious training and racing, now in an Owl uniform. The intervening years had not diminished Edson’s talent and work ethic, as he earned All-American honors in cross country, indoor track and field (5k), and outdoor track and field (5k) in the 1988-89 season. In the fall of 1989, Edson entered his final year of collegiate competition and executed a near-perfect cross country season. Except for the 1989 Paul Short Invitational, where a hamstring cramp dropped Edson from 1st to 4th near the end of the race, he won every race he entered, culminating in winning the individual national title at the Division II Cross Country Championships.

Alfred Rugema, Abilene Christian University
Abilene Christian’s Rugema had a storied career for the Wildcats, becoming the first student-athlete in school history to win a men’s cross country national title. Rugema accomplished that feat twice (2000, 2002) to go along with two additional top-ten finishes at the Cross Country Championships. Perhaps Rugema’s greatest accomplishment came in a year in which he did not achieve a national title. In 2001, Rugema was sidelined for most of the season with a stress fracture and limited to pool training. In spite of these limitations, he suited up for the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships, finishing a strong 7th to lead the Wildcats to a 2nd place team finish. Rugema’s talents extended to the classroom as well, as he was a three-time All-Academic honoree during his career at ACU.

Yi Min Wu, Edinboro University
The Scots’ Wu outdistanced the competition in 1998 to win an individual cross country national title, but this was only one of his many accomplishments at Edinboro. Wu earned All-American honors in each of his four seasons at Edinboro, earned additional All-American honors in track and field, and picked up All-Conference and All-Region honors along the way. Edinboro’s cross country teams during Wu’s tenure were a perfect 4-0 in conference and regional competition and also compiled four top-10 national finishes. However, Wu’s greatest legacy is his natural ambassadorship for his native country, China. Wu worked in the local community to further education about China and the Chinese people, including cooking a traditional Chinese dinner for a local elementary school on Chinese New Year.