Men's Cross Country Places Second at A-Sun Championships
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Belmont men's cross country team placed five runners in the top 20 to finish as runners-up at the Atlantic Sun Conference Championships on Saturday morning. Senior Hillary Cheruiyot (Eldoret, Kenya) led the Bruins with a sixth place finish, recording a time of 25:08.22 on the eight kilometer course in Spartanburg, S.C.
"It was a tough race today, but all of our guys ran well," Head Coach Jeff Langdon said. "Hillary really rose to the occasion and helped us finish as runners-up. All of the guys ran really hard and made Kennesaw State earn their title. We're really proud of every single one of them."
Kennesaw State won the team championship for the second straight year, putting three runners in the top seven on the way to scoring 55 points. The Bruins placed second with 68 points, while USC Upstate and North Florida took third and fourth with scores of 80 and 98, respectively.
Cheruiyot, who was the A-Sun Freshman of the Year in 2007, led the Bruins for the first time this season. His sixth place finish earned him All-Atlantic Sun First Team honors. Freshman standout Erick Kigen (Eldoret, Kenya) was the next Belmont harrier to cross the line, placing 10th in a time of 25:22.22.
Senior Clay Hannah (Lebanon, Tenn.) finished in 25:34.56 to place 15th overall. Behind him was a pair of Belmont finishers, senior Jordan Anderson (Mason City, Iowa) and freshman Brandon Mahaney (Lafayette, Tenn.). The former placed 18th in a time of 25:38.93 while the latter crossed the line in 25:43.25 to take 19th.
Both Kigen and Mahaney were named to the Atlantic Sun Conference All-Freshmen Team for their performances on Saturday. They are the first Belmont duo to earn the accolades since Cheruiyot and Kip Hill (Liberty, Mo.) received the honors in 2007. Similarly, Kigen was named A-Sun Freshman of the Year, the first time for a Bruin since Cheruiyot in 2007.
"The positive is that we really closed the gap on Kennesaw State," Langdon said. "That bodes well for the Regional Championships in two weeks. They were ranked seventh in the most recent regional poll, so we should have a good shot at doing really well at that meet."
The Bruins will next head out to the NCAA South Regional in Birmingham, Ala. on November 13.