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Strong showing by Coyotes at NAIA Cross Country National Championships

KWU Athletics ReleaseNovember 20, 2021

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Rookies and veterans alike put forth outstanding efforts for the Kansas Wesleyan Cross Country teams at Friday’s NAIA National Championship races at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Championship Course.

Freshman Daniel Harkin (FR/Manhattan, Kan.) ran an exceptional race in his NAIA debut, bouncing back from in the lower third of the standings early on, improving over 120 spots by the time he crossed the finish line. Harkin finished in 127th place, covering the 8K course in 26:59.2.

 

Veteran Stephanie Martinez (SR/Horizon City, Texas) improved on her finish in the National meet last spring, with an 85th place finish, covering the 5K course in 19:32.1, just two-tenths of a second ahead of Carroll’s Andria Mourich.

 

Fellow veteran Tabetha Deines (SR/Salina, Kan.) finished with a time of 20:12.7, in 174th place in the race.

 

The women’s field had 339 runners start the race and Milligan’s Alyssa Bearzi was the individual champion covering the course in 18:14.9, nearly two seconds ahead of Sydney Little Light from Rocky Mountain.

 

There were 332 runners that started the men’s race that was won by Oklahoma City’s Zouhair Talbi with a time of 24:43.1, 13 and a half seconds better than teammate Shimales Abebe.

 

Milligan completed the sweep of both the men’s and women’s team titles.

 

The Buffs’ men’s team won the title with 115 points, beating Saint Mary who finished second with 175 points, while Indiana Wesleyan finished third, St. Francis (Ill.) was fourth and College of Idaho was fifth.

 

Milligan’s women’s team narrowly edged defending national champion St. Francis (Ill.) scoring 122 points, while the Saints finished with 141 points. Cornerstone finished third, Taylor was fourth and College of Idaho rounded out the top five team finishers.

 

The Milligan sweep is only the third time in NAIA history that the both the women’s and men’s team from the same institution claimed the national championship.

Copyright © Meridian Media, 2021. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.

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