"I couldn't be happier for our athletes," said men's head coach Steve Taylor. "The goal was to finish in the top-25 and they did (24th), narrowly missing Villanova in 23rd by four points. They beat a lot of nationally prominent programs and achieved success that our men have dedicated their college career too. Our season has been a tremendous success. It's here at the National Championships when you realize how many great teams, coaches and others have paid attention to our season. It's nice to know our men and women have the attention of the cross country nation. They have earned everything they have achieved through hard work, self-discipline, passion and heart. This sport defines who these men & women are."
Richmond was led by redshirt-senior Matt Llano who finished 44th with a time of 30.35.8. Not placing in the top 40, Llano was three seconds from receiving All-American honors. Redshirt-senior Andrew Benford was the second Spider to finish, coming in 75th-place with a time of 30:54.7. Senior Tim Quinn finished 116th (31:19.3), followed by redshirt-senior Jon Wilson in 204th (32:12.9), sophomore Chris York (32:34.5) in 219th, junior Levi Grandt (32:52.2) in 225th, and sophomore Jason Skipper (36:45.2) in 246th.
"Our seniors have been tremendous for our program and University. They have helped elevate our team to the highest level of NCAA Division I cross country. Their leadership, work ethic, determination and unrelenting desire to achieve our team and their personal goals set them apart. They are fighters in every sense and know how to win. It's been my privilege to serve as their coach."
Liberty's senior Samual Chelanga came in first-place in the men's 10K with a time of 29:22.2. Arizona's Stephen Sambu came in second with time of 29:26.5, while third-place went to Oregon junior Luke Puskedra (29:38.0). Oklahoma State finished first overall, followed by Florida State and Wisconsin. To view the complete list of men's results, follow the link: Men's Team Results Men's Individual Results
As for the women's 6K race, Van Alstine finished 67th with a time of 21:06.4. In the first 500 meters of the race, Van Alstine got tangled with a few athletes and fell, losing her shoe. However, after putting her shoe back on, she continued to run the race.
"Amy ran extremely well today and as always she ran with heart giving her best," said women's head coach Lori Taylor. "It's unfortunate that her shoe came off early in the race, but she got it back on and didn't panic. She raced hard and passed a lot of people throughout the race showing just how competitive she is. She's had a great season and we look forward to watching her during the track & field season."
The women's individual race was won by Villanova's Sheila Reid, a junior who finished in 20:06.9. Second-place went to Emily Infeld, a junior from Georgetown (20:09.2) and third-palce went to Jordan Hasay, a sophomore from Oregon (20:13.0). Overall, Villanova clinched first-place, followed by Florida State in second and Texas Tech in third. For the complete list of women's results click here: Women's Team Results Women's Individual Results
"We had a huge group of Spider faithful here today at the national championships and appreciate their support and effort to get here to encourage Amy and our men's team. Our athletes recognize who was here to see history and will remember this day for the rest of their lives. Today their dreams and years of hard work came together as the thousands of miles they literally ran in preparation paid off.
Take a look at who these men beat today when the pressure was on... to finish 24th in the nation is a huge achievement. Lori and I are elated with their athletic accomplishments and we are equally proud of the fact they have achieved this success while maintaining one of the top team grade point averages in the nation."
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