News: Cross-Country 10th at Nationals

Cross Country All-Americans

Cross Country Finishes 10th at NCAA Championships

Colorado Christian University men's and women's cross-country teams broke school records and earned All-America honors at the NCAA Championships held Nov. 20 in St. Leo, Fla.

Racing at the NCAA Championships for the second straight opportunity (there was no race in 2020), the Cougar men's team placed 10th in the 34-team field. It is the highest NCAA finish for any team in CCU history. The women's team had a strong showing as well, finishing 22nd overall in its first trip to the national championships.

CCU duo Ryder Searle and Josh Pierantoni paved the way for the men's team, each earning All-America honors. On the women's team, Paige Tack earned All-America honors via her 19th place finish. The three athletes are the first All-Americans in the history of CCU's cross-country program.

Men's Results

In warm and muggy conditions on a rolling course in central Florida, the men's team reached fourth place during the 10K race before finishing in 10th.

Searle was the team's top finisher as the senior concluded his collegiate running career with a 19th place finish in a time of 30:56.1. Pierantoni was the second finisher for the squad as he registered a 29th place finish in a time of 31:12.4. Isaac Russo used a strong kick to pass 19 runners in the last 1,200 meters to place 59th with a time of 31:59.5. Alex Vance clipped the tape in 32:45.8 to earn 117th in the 262-runner field, while Luke Meyer completed the scoring runners at 181st in a time of 33:45.3.

The final duo for the Cougars had different race experiences. Kyle Gee completed his cross-country running tenure by finishing in 33:51.0 (186th). Trent Cochran was in top 15 position throughout the race before the conditions overtook his outstanding effort with 1,200 meters left. The Kansas native gutted out a tough finish in 36:02.4.

Women's Results

The women's team peaked at 20th before concluding the day in 22nd position. Tack was the team leader throughout the race. In her first season with the cross-country program, Tack inched her way through the crowd to place 19th. At the race's halfway point she was in 52nd place. Tack closed in outstanding fashion as she crossed the finish line in 21:12.1. Alysia Wagner was the second runner for the Cougars as she placed 127th in a time of 22:30.3 over the rolling course. Callie Ketner placed 115th, crossing the finish line in 22:53.3. Christy Shuster paced close behind Ketner with a registered time of 22:54.9 to finish in 158th place. Kenzie Hartwig rounded out the top five runners as she ran her final collegiate cross-country race in 23:11.5 to tally a 178th place finish. Michelle Kuipers (23:26.5) and Elizabeth Mattson (23:57.5) completed the team's efforts as they finished 197th and 220th respectively.