Weekend Roundup: November 13-15
The fall segment of the 2020 NCAA Division II cross country season came to a close following the results of the D2 XC National Invitational in Lubbock, Texas, and the Peach Belt Conference Cross Country Championships in Oakwood, Georgia.
Let’s see how those competing one last time in NCAA Division II fared, as well as how two NAIA conference championships shook out.
D2 XC National Invitational
Alabama-Huntsville’s men and Dallas Baptist’s women were crowned victors at the D2 XC National Invitational on Saturday in Lubbock, Texas.
In the men’s race, Alabama-Huntsville combatted an early lead by Colorado Mesa, as the Mavericks placed three runners in the top-5. The Chargers ended up finishing 5-6-10-12-13 to lock up the team title with 46 points, beating out the Mavericks by 31 points. West Texas A&M finished third as a team with 77 points, led by Innocent Murwanashkyaka in seventh.
The women’s race was much closer, with Dallas Baptist totaling 51 points for a 16 point victory over runner-up Westminster (Utah). Madison Brown continued to be the top-scorer for the Patriots with an individual runner-up finish. Northwest Missouri finished third in the team standings with 71 points.
Tony Torres of Colorado Mesa and Florance Uwajeneza of West Texas A&M each won their respective gender’s individual titles. Torres won in 31:37.68 for a 15-second win over former National Athlete of the Week Nicodemus Rotich; Uwajeneza won by nearly 35 seconds in 21:38.92.
Peach Belt Conference Championships
Augusta’s men and Flagler’s women each won their respective gender’s team title at the Peach Belt Conference Cross Country Championships on Saturday in Oakwood, Georgia.
The Jaguars won its third title in the last four years, while the Saints captured its third straight Peach Belt Conference title – and fourth overall since 2013.
Augusta quickly got to work from the gun as it rolled to the team title with 24 points. Individual runner-up Jacob Poston led the Jaguar contingent with the rest of scorers shortly behind, finishing 4-5-6-7.
For the first time in PBC women’s cross country history, the team title went to a tiebreaker after Flagler and North Georgia both scored 49 points. The Saints pulled out the victory, 3-2, as their No. 4 runner, Maria Puccio-Ball, finished less than a second ahead of the Nighthawks’ fourth-runner.
It was a record setting day for the individual champions in both races.
Joshua Chepkesir of UNC Pembroke won the men’s race by 42 seconds in 23:41.9 42 to break his own PBC Championship record. This is Chepkesir’s third PBC title – becoming the first men’s cross country runner in conference history to accomplish the feat.
Mackenzie Taylor of Augusta won the women’s race in 17:07.86 – also setting a PBC Championship record – and recorded the largest margin of victory in conference history (54 seconds).
Action From Various NAIA Conference Championships
Milligan (Tenn.) swept the team titles at the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) Championships this morning. The Buffs came in with the top-ranked teams according to the most recent NAIA National Coaches’ Polls and ran like it. Milligan put its entire lineup in the top-10 of the men’s race to win by 28 points over Montreat (N.C.) and nabbed the top-3 spots in the women’s race – as well as ninth and 10th – for a 19-point win over those same Cavaliers.
Saint Mary (Kan.) left no doubt as to its claim as the best program in the KCAC. The Spires swept the team titles at the KCAC Cross Country Championships today as their men notched a perfect score of 15 points and the women went 3-4-5-6-7 for a 25-point total.