POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. -- The Sabercats are headed to the season finale, and both Cross Country squads will be eyeing some season-best times at the NCCAA DII National Championships.
The Men's Squad hit their best time as a team back in September, when they combined for a 2:37:15 time at the Warrior Invitational near Milwaukee. While only one runner from the squad hit his best time of the season that day, the team took advantage of the fast course to lock in what is the third-fastest reported time of any NCCAA DII squad this season.
To qualify for Nationals, teams must post a combined team time of 3:00:00 for an 8K race. Runners must meet a time of 34:00 to qualify individually, but if the team time is less than the three-hour mark, the team qualifies.
Below is a breakdown of the individual-best times for the Sabercats' top five runners this season:
|Cameron Rankin||28:29||10/5||Bethel Invitational|
|Robert Kile||30:42||9/29||Warrior Invitational|
|Jefferson Rupert||30:49||10/5||Bethel Invitational|
|David Williams||31:25||10/13||Wisconsin Private College Championships|
|James Rossiter||34:31||10/13||Wisconsin Private College Championships|
Leading the Pack
Cameron Rankin solidified himself as the fourth-fastest runner in MBU program history at the Bethel Invitational, as his time of 28:29 broke his previous PR by three seconds. Rankin will look to improve on that time, as he is 20 seconds off of the third-best finish in Maranatha program history. (Top 20 Records)
Rankin has logged the seventh-fastest time of anyone in the NCCAA DII this season, and the senior will look to conclude his collegiate career with a top-five finish and subsequent All-American honors.
Top 5 Sneak Peek
Based on this season's results, the Sabercats are slated to be the third-fastest team at the national stage, but they are eyeing improvement, as they have had four weeks without a competition. With control over their training schedule, the squad will look to make a surprise move at the season finale.
Below is a breakdown of the five best team times that have been reported this season:
|Bob Jones University||2:20:53||9/28||Queen City Invite|
|Alice Lloyd College||2:34:30||9/22||Patty Forgey Invitational|
|Maranatha Baptist University||2:37:15||9/29||Warrior Invitational|
|Ozark Christian College||2:42:30||9/15||Missouri Southern Stampede|
|Arlington Baptist University||2:58:55||9/7||Gerald Richey UTA Invitational|
The Sabercats' Women's Squad peaked at the final event of the regular season, setting a team time of 2:25:02 at the Wisconsin Private College Championships. That time translates into a 1:59:32 combined 5K, which is currently the fourth-best time in the NCCAA DII.
To qualify for Nationals on the Women's side, teams must post a combined team time of 2:05:00 for a 5K race (25:00 average). Runners must meet a time of 24:30 to qualify individually, but if the team time is better than the standard, the team qualifies.
The State Championship race proved to be good on the individual level as well, as three of the Sabercats' top five runners set season-best times that day. Below is the breakdown of best times on the women's side:
|Alicyn Wigdal||23:02||10/5||Bethel Invitational|
|Anna Heins||23:12*||10/13||Wisconsin Private College Championships|
|Sierra John||23:24*||10/13||Wisconsin Private College Championships|
|Katie Jean Lingle||23:55*||10/13||Wisconsin Private College Championships|
|Madelyn Hansel||24:17*||9/29||Warrior Invitational|
*5K split during a 6K race
Pack Running at its Finest
The Sabercats will look to capitalize on their pack running, as the squad finished within two minutes of each other back-to-front at the Wisconsin Private College Championships. That compactness could help the squad down the closing stretches.
Top 5 Breakdown
Moody Bible Institute has once again shown their quality as a Women's program, as the Archers have registered the best team time in the division this season.
Below is a breakdown of the fastest team times that have been registered this season on the women's side:
|Moody Bible Institute||1:46:30||10/5||Bethel Invitational|
|Bob Jones University||1:48:25||9/28||Queen City Invite|
|Alice Lloyd College||1:50:34||9/28||Greater Louisville Classic|
|Maranatha Baptist University||1:59:32||10/13||Wisconsin Private College Championships|
|Ozark Christian College||2:03:01||9/15||Missouri Southern Stampede|
To stay up-to-date on the results and for more information on the event, go to mbusabercats.com/composite.