The No. 10 University of Southern Indiana men's cross country team had a program-record three All-America performances Saturday as it raced to a seventh-place finish out of 32 teams at the NCAA Division II Championships at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park.
Senior Tyler Pence (Springfield, Illinois) and junior Johnnie Guy (Palmyra, Indiana) finished seventh and eighth, respectively, while junior Tyler Schickel (Poseyville, Indiana) finished 40th
to garner the final All-America award.
Pence completed the 9,560-meter course in 30 minutes, 41.60 seconds, while Guy finished in 30:41.70. Schickel crossed the finish line in 31:29.10, two-tenths of a second ahead of 41st
-place Akiharu Kitagawa of Mount Olive College.
Adams State University's Tabor Stevens was first in the 245-competitor field, while California University-Pennsylvania's Aaron Dinzeo and American International University's Mike Biwott were second and third, respectively. Stevens, one of three Adams State competitors to finish in the top five, completed the race in 30:02.00.
As a team, the Screaming Eagles finished with 219 points, 23 behind the University of Alaska-Anchorage for sixth-place. Adams State won the meet with 69 points, while Grand Valley State University was second with 127 points.
Senior Hunter Motz (Wadesville, Indiana) aided the Eagles with an 85th-place finish, while sophomores Jason Head (New Salisbury, Indiana) and Noah Lutz (Evansville, Indiana) were 117th and 124th, respectively. Senior Solomon Bennett (Henderson, Nevada) rounded out the Eagles' lineup with a 161st
Pence's performance was the highest finish for a USI men's runner at the NCAA II Cross Country Championships since Ben Kapsoiya placed third in 1998. Guy, who was ninth at the national meet a year ago, posted his second straight top-10 finish, making him the first USI men's runner with back-to-back top-10 finishes since Elly Rono placed second and first, respectively, in 1996 and 1997.
Pence and Schickel are the 19th and 20th
All-Americans in the USI men's cross country program's history.
The seventh-place team finish was the Eagles' best at the national meet since they placed seventh in 2011 and tied for their fourth-best performance in program history. USI's best All-America count prior to Saturday was two (1983, 1996, 2007, and 2009).
Note: The course was shortened from 10-kilometers due to soggy conditions.