The Kansas Wesleyan Men’s Cross Country team finished fourth at the KCAC Cross Country Championships on Saturday morning at GreatLife Salina.
Senior Jacob Lovell (SR/Junction City, Kan.) was the top finisher for the Coyotes, earning Honorable Mention All-KCAC honors for a second straight season and punching a second consecutive ticket to the NAIA National Championships. Lovell finished 11th with a time of 28:03.6 for the 8K course.
“We came in ranked fifth and finished fourth so we succeeded our goal,” Kansas Wesleyan coach Kyle Hiser said. “Jacob Lovell led the team with his low stick performance and qualified for nationals for a second year in a row improving on his 13th place finish from last year.”
Austin Hess (FR/Garden City, Kan.) was 37th for the Coyotes, finishing in 30:06.2, Shane Calvin (FR/Lakin, Kan.) was 47th in 30:24.5, Timothy Kilburn was 48th in 30:27.4, Trey Stramel (FR/Colby, Kan.) was 51st in 30:56.9, Daniel York (FR/Linn, Kan.) was 55th in 31:13.5, Michael Vongphadky was 74th in 32:27.8, Stevie Merrill was 75th in 32:39.5, and Randall Thornton (FR/Salina, Kan.) was 94th in 36:58.
“Austin Hess was ‘Mr. Consistent’ all year being our number two as a freshman and led our young squad with his racing tactics,” Hiser said. “It led the rest to the men’s squad to a great performance.”
Saint Mary, who is ranked second in the NAIA, ran away with the team championship, with a perfect score of 15 points. Friends was second with 66 points. KWU and Tabor tied with 148 points, but Tabor won the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Ottawa was fifth, McPherson sixth, Bethel seventh, York eighth, Bethany ninth, Southwestern 10th, Avila 11th, Oklahoma Wesleyan 12th and Sterling was 13th.
The Coyotes were also selected as the KCAC Men’s Cross Country Team of Character.
“Our men’s team has been great with adhering to COVID protocols on campus. They have been responsible in their actions and helped keep cases low on campus with their responsibility. Leading change on campus for meals and volunteering in the community,” Hiser said.
The 65th Annual NAIA Men’s Cross Country National Championships will be held April 9, 2021 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.