“I’m excited and proud of the team,” said Head Coach Ken Roach. “We wanted to put our best foot forward and see how things happened. I knew we had a good shot at doing well, but you never know at these November meets. It’s been fun watching the teams celebrate today.”
Throughout the 2022 season, the men’s cross country team held on to the top ranking in NCCAA DII, and as the team came into today’s race, they looked to add another championship to the program.
As the race began, the Bruins got out to a solid start on what would be a hilly course in cold, windy conditions. Douglas Stone, Sol Shafer and Jeremy Fopma from Maranatha Baptist University lead the pack for most of the race.
At the finish line, the top-five scorers for the Bruins all finished back to back. Leading off the scoring for the Bruins was senior Douglas Stone who finished second overall with a time of 26:36.7 followed by Sol Shafer at 27:06. Coming in fourth overall and third for the Bruins was Ryan Heying who closed out his collegiate career on a high note with a 27:14.8 personal best. Finishing just eight seconds later was Michael Steurer with a hard-fought race. Rounding out the top-five runners for the Bruins was Marc Johnson who snuck in a two-second PR to finish with a time of 27:48.2.
Evan Seaman was the next Bruin to cross the finish line, and he smashed 50 seconds off of his previous best 8k time to earn a time of 28:09. Coming in 10th, 11th, and 12th place was Jeremiah Cox (with a five second PR), Joseph Grassmid, and Ian Flynn. Trenton Goldsmith earned a spot in the top-20 with a time of 29:29. Gabriel Steurer, Seth Cordes, and Andrew Sarver closed out the meet for the Bruins.
Ten Bruins finished in the top-20 as the team raced to a team time of 2:16:08 and 20 points, the lowest team score for the men’s program at nationals.
Following the race, Douglas Stone, Sol Shafer, Michael Steurer, and Ryan Heying earned All-American honors which is awarded to the top-five finishers at the National Championships. This is the first time in program history that the Bruins have had four runners named All-American. In addition, Head Coach Ken Roach was named the NCCAA DII Coach of the Year for the second year as his team ran to a championship finish.