The No. 22 ranked men’s cross country team ran well and finished 28th overall in its first-ever NCAA National Championship in Terre Haute, Ind., Saturday morning.
The conditions were brutal from the start, with the temperature in the mid-30s, with winds up to 15-20 mph. The Blue Raiders weathered the conditions and came out with an impressive finish for their first time competing in the NCAA Championships.
Freshman Jacob Choge continued to earn accolades, as he was named All-American after finishing 40th overall with a time of 30:27.7. This marks the first time in program history that a Blue Raider cross country runner has been named to the All-American team.
The second Blue Raider to finish was sophomore Kigen Chemadi, who ran well with the toughest runners in the nation, with a 31:14.4 clip. Junior Amos Cheruiyot was not far behind, with a time of 31:36.6.
Seniors Hillary Rono and Shadrack Matelong closed out their cross country careers with strong finishes as well.
The team finished ahead of Conference USA rival No. 19 UTEP, who finished 29th. The No. 1 ranked team in the nation, Northern Arizona took the crown. Individually, Villanova’s Patrick Tiernan finished first overall.
The future is bright for Middle Tennessee cross country as five of the seven runners will return for next season. With so many records being broken this year and its top runners returning, the Blue Raiders will be even more competitive next season. Associate Head Coach Keith Vroman is excited about the finish and the experience that returns next year.
“I’m very proud of these guys,” said Vroman. “It was a great experience for us here at the NCAA Championships. I can’t wait to get back here next year.”
Next up for the Blue Raiders is the indoor track season, which begins Dec. 3.
Men’s Team Results (Top 5)
1. No. 1 Northern Arizona
2. No. 3 Stanford
3. No. 5 Syracuse
4. No. 11 Ole Miss
5. No. 6 Arkansas
28. No. 22 Middle Tennessee
Middle Tennessee Individual Men’s Results (10k)
40. Jacob Choge (30:27.7)
149. Kigen Chemadi (31.14.4)
194. Amos Cheruiyot (31:36.6)
226. Hillary Rono (32:05.4)
234. Geoffry Cheruiyot (32:31.1)
248. Shadrack Matelong (33:22.0)