LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Nov. 17 - Southern Utah's Nate Jewkes raced among the nation's top cross country teams at the NCAA Cross Country Championship, finishing 54th in a field of 245 and improving his 2011 national finish by 26 positions.
"I'm really happy about the results," Jewkes commented afterward. "I feel good about the level of effort I put in and it was a really good race overall."
Jewkes crossed the finish line with a 10k time of 30:22.8, racing at a 4:54 mile pace on the University of Louisville's E.P. "Tom" Sawyer Course. This race marks Jewkes' second trip to the NCAA Championship as the T-Bird raced to an 80th-place finish and time of 30:39.0 at the Indiana State course in 2011.
Three of the top six teams hailed from the Mountain Region, with Colorado, Northern Arizona and BYU finishing third, fourth and sixth respectively and the Southern Utah junior was racing right on pace with these top teams. Jewkes' finish placed him ahead of Colorado's fifth scoring runner and both NAU's and BYU's final three scoring runners. Oklahoma State took the national title, with it's fifth runner scoring just ahead of Jewkes in 53rd place.
"We're really excited about Nate's performance today," head coach Eric Houle said. "We would have liked an All-American title, but to come in and get that kind of improvement in a field as competitive as this is really great, so we're not complaining."
With the cross country season officially wrapped up, the Thunderbirds will begin to prepare for the indoor track & field season, set to begin in January.