Columbus State & Two Individuals Advance to Men's Cross Country Nationals
Columbus State placed two runners in the top 10 and three in the
top 20 as they finished second at the NCAA Southeast Regional
championships on Saturday in Wingate, N.C. CSU will advance to the
National Championships along with Queens, who won the event. Also
advancing are UNC Pembroke's Pardon Ndhlovu and Clayton State's
Fidelis Mutiso, who were the top finishers on teams that will not
Columbus State's Meshack Koyiaki entered the event having won every meet he had started in 2009. He very nearly kept that perfect record in-tact. Koyiaki and reigning Southeast Champion Oscar Ogwaro of Queens reached the finish line at exactly the same time and the winner was determined in a photo finish. Koyiaki misunderstood the rules and thrust his legs across the finish line, but Ogwaro stretched his upper torso at the line and was declared the winner. Both runners were credited with a time of 31:14, a full 20 seconds ahead of Futsum Mebrahtu of Queens.
Nicholas Kering gave CSU two runners in the top four, finishing fourth at 31:43. Nathan Prickett was the next finisher for CSU in 19th place (18 points) at 33:44, followed by John Neill in 23rd (22 points) at 33:55 and Stewart Helton in 25th (24 points) at 33:57. Those five runners compiled the team score for CSU. Andrew Henderson (48, 35:10) and David Marley (49, 35:14) rounded out the CSU team.
Queens easily claimed the team title with 28 points, followed by 70 from CSU. Mars Hill was the third and final team to qualify for nationals by finishing in third place with 96 points. Lees-McRae was fourth, and Peach Belt teams Clayton State and UNC Pembroke tied for fifth.
Ndhlovu finished fifth overall in 32:14 and will represent UNC Pembroke at the national championships. Clayton State's Fidelis Mutiso was seventh overall in 32:22 and will also go to the nationals.
The NCAA National Championships will be run on Saturday, Nov. 21 in Evansville, Ind., and hosted by the University of Southern Indiana.