PBC Men’s Cross Country Teams Conclude NCAA National Championship

PBC Men’s Cross Country Teams Conclude NCAA National Championship

CLARION, PA – Augusta finished in 28thplace while UNC Pembroke was 32ndin the 2018 NCAA National Championship in Pennsylvania.   For the first time, two PBC men's teams competed while Georgia College's Collin Silliman ran as an individual.  The event was part of the NCAA Division II Fall Championship Festival in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Augusta, making their third appearance in the final, had their second-best team result in 28thplace.  Guided by the 2018 NCAA Southeast Region Coach of the Year, Adam Ward, the Jaguars finished with 682 points to beat Embry-Riddle, Florida Southern, Edinboro, UNC Pembroke, So. Conn State, and SNHU in the 32 field. Grand Valley State won the National Championship with 89 points, while CSU Pueblo's Marcelo Laguera won the individual race in 31:46.4.

AU sophomore Hunter Kimball led the team and placed 55th overall in 33:52.7. Kimball's individual finish is the best by any Jaguar ever at the National Championships.

Senior Noah Hulett capped off his four-year career with a 83rd-place finish in 34:21.6, sophomore Jacob Postonposted a time of 35:56.0 for 195th, and freshman Chandler Kennedy grabbed 230th in 36:45.6. Freshmen Joshua Seiden and Rakeem Littles rounded out the Jaguars with Seiden placing 238th (37:05.7) and Littles 258th(37:57.9). The top-40 finishers were named All-Americans.

UNC Pembroke's appearance marked the first team finish for the Braves in 37 years. It was the first team appearance at the event for the Black & Gold since registering a 15th place showing at the 1981 NCAA Championships.
 
Silus Kipkoech's time (34:44.0) was good enough for 113th place among a 261-man field of the nation's most elite cross country student-athletes. Senior Logan Ward crossed in 147th place with a time of 35:11.9, while Jonathan Martin was 215th with a mark of 36:26.2. Matthew Martin(36:50.7) was 233rd, while Jarett Arabie (38:06.0) and Ean Ormsby (38:19.1) crossed in 259th and 261st place, respectively.
 
Joshua Chepkesir, who captured both the Peach Belt Conference and NCAA Southeast Region titles leading up to Saturday, did not finish due to an undisclosed injury.

Making over a 20-spot jump in the second half of the race, Sillimanran well as the first Bobcat Men's Cross Country qualifier for the NCAA Championships. The junior finished 73rd in a massive 261-runner field.

Silliman crossed the line in 34:10.5 on a challenging muddy, hilly 10K at the at the Bob O'Connor Golf Course at Schenley Park.

"I think I like to have the mentality to love tough courses," Silliman said after the race. "I felt like If I kept that mentality I would do well, and it seemed to help." 

Battling 42-degree weather and intermittent rain, Silliman finished seventh among Southeast Region runners, second among Peach Belt Conference (PBC) runners and second among runners from schools in Georgia.

Silliman became the first Bobcat Men's harrier to compete at the NCAA Finals by taking 13th at the Southeast Regional and qualifying as an individual. His finish was the highest by a Georgia College Cross Country runner at the NCAA Finals. The only other runner in Georgia College history was Katherine Yost (2017), who qualified as an individual on the women's side in both 2016 and 2017.