POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. -- In the season finale, both Sabercats Cross Country teams secured a top-five finish in the NCCAA DII.
The Men's Team finished 4th place with a team time of 2:41:12 and 97 points (8K), while the Women's Squad secured 5th place, combining for 2:00:14 in the 5K. Both squads had to deal with three distinct challenges on the day. The first was some unexpectedly cold weather in the Ozarks, the second was coming into their first competitive race after four weeks of just training, and the third was "the hill" - a steep, prolonged climb in the middle of the course that brought nationals-caliber runners to a walk.
On the men's side, Bob Jones University took home the national title with a team time of 2:23:57 and 26 points while Ozark Christian College took home a surprise runner-up finish with a team time of 2:27:30 - a time that eclipsed their previous best by exactly 15 minutes. Ozark's Eli Connatser cut the tape with a time of 26:51, and BJU had two runners earn All-America honors with top-five finishes.
MBU had difficulty combating the colder temperatures, as none of the runners were able to set a PR or a season-best time on the day.
For the women's 5K, Moody Bible Institute brought the title back to the Windy City, as their women's squad finished in 1:47:17 and 33 points. Alice Lloyd College took second place with a time of 1:48:27 while BJU was a close third at 1:50:12 - it was quite the close finish for the podium placements. Kimberly Buskirk (Grace Chrisitan University) was the fastest runner in DII, as she crossed the finish line in 20 minutes and 12 seconds.
Maranatha showed their noteworthy pack running, as they finished within a minute from front to back - their tightest performance this season. Madelyn Hansel led the way with her best 5K time of the year, coming in 25th place with a time of 23:29.
- Event: NCCAA DII Nationals
- Men's Finish: 4th of 5 / 97 points
- Men's First Runner: Cameron Rankin - 14th - 30:10 (8K)
- Women's Finish: 5th of 7 / 124 points
- Women's First Runner: Madelyn Hansel - 25th - 23:29 (5K)
- Location: Point Lookout, Mo.
- Host: College of the Ozarks
THE RESULTS (MEN)
- 14th - Cameron Rankin (30:10)
- 21st - Jefferson Rupert (31:45)
- 23rd - Robert Kile (32:00)
- 25th - David Williams (32:12)
- 37th - Drew Smith (35:04)
- (38th) - James Rossiter (36:10)
- (44th) - TJ Lacock (36:38)
THE RESULTS (WOMEN)
- 25th - Madelyn Hansel (23:29)
- 28th - Anna Heins (23:47)
- 33rd - Katie Jean Lingle (24:14)
- 34th - Alicyn Wigdal (24:18)
- 35th - Sierra John (24:24)
A full recap of the season will be forthcoming at mbusabercats.com.