TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Nov. 23 – The Thunderbirds’ cross country season officially wrapped up today as senior Ryan Barrus represented Southern Utah at the NCAA National Championship. Barrus finished 167th on the muddy 10k course, recording a time of 31:55.7.
“It was really cool to be here with all the best teams and to be a part of this,” Barrus commented after the race. “My finish wasn’t really where I wanted to be, but with the race conditions, I’m not overly disappointed with it.”
Freshman Edward Cheserek (Oregon) took the individual title with a 29:41.1 finish, overtaking Texas Tech’s Kennedy Kithuka (29:59.1) in the final 2,000 meters. Fellow Mountain Region teams Colorado and Northern Arizona led the meet, as the Buffaloes took their fourth consecutive team title with a score of 149, upsetting the No. 1 ranked Lumberjacks (169). Southern Utah’s men finished only 14 points behind the Lumberjacks at the Big Sky Championship and then raced alongside both Colorado and NAU at the regional championship, finishing seventh overall.
“This has been an outstanding season for us,” head coach Eric Houle said. “To finish 34th in the nation with an athlete representing us at the national championship really shows what the team can do. Most of this team will return next season, so we’re really in a good place looking ahead.”
As the cross country season comes to a close, the Thunderbirds will now prepare to enter the indoor track and field season in January.