TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – in the event that you ask a lot of people across the country to point out Flagstaff on a chart, there would be some difficulty this. Much more could have a hard time letting you know that city hosts Northern Arizona University — a haven for length athletes.
With this certain day, though, against most of the chances and unfavorable climate conditions nature could throw at all of them, seven contending professional athletes through the nation’s unanimous #1 cross country team rallied collectively showing precisely the particular skill this Mountain town types therefore the level of pleasure they will have with its university.
Eventually, for the first time at school record in almost any recreation, the Lumberjacks are NCAA nationwide Champions.
A Hollywood script writer couldn’t have pieced together a significantly better story on what Saturday unfolded. Following conclusion for the men’s 10K race on LaVern Gibson Championship cross-country Course, also Director of Cross Country Eric Heins — in the 10th and final season during the helm for NAU — said he wasn’t yes their males pulled from success.
“I’d bad thoughts, honestly, even as we were crossing the final line, ” said Heins. “I heard that individuals had been winning — not by much — at 8K, and I also couldn’t tell in which Nathan [Weitz] had completed. I thought he was our fifth guy because I didn’t see any of our various other athletes go him. It Absolutely Was nerve-racking.”
Affirmed, though, on the backs of four All-American shows from Futsum Zienasellassie, Matt Baxter, Tyler Day and Andy Trouard, the Lumberjacks bested famous brands Stanford and Syracuse to claim first place with 125 points. Actually, NAU outlasted the second-place Cardinal by 33 points and posted its cheapest rating ever at nationals — trumping the prior Lumberjack-record low of 142 points in 1995.
Zienasellassie crossed the finish range very first for NAU, while he has done all period long, registering a fourth-place time of 29:49.8. And even though Zienasellassie finished 3rd in 2014 at NCAAs, it was a career-best time for him at 10K nationwide race. Additionally, the redshirt senior from Indianapolis — racing on a course he is more than familiar with in front of dozens of family and friends — became the first ever Lumberjack cross country athlete towards be crowned a four-time NCAA All-American.
Baxter arrived in after Zienasellassie for NAU, logging nine things with an 11th-place finish (30:03.1). The redshirt junior from brand new Zealand battled sickness at NCAA hill Regionals final week-end but revealed no signs and symptoms of it in making his first profession XC All-American accolade.
Day tallied 18 things with a 23rd-place time (30:13), while Trouard ran in for 37th spot and 29 points with a 30:23.5 mark. Both athletes had been also recognized as All-Americans these days, attaching this program record for top-40 finishes at nationwide titles (4).
“We knew when we were going to attempt to make record, all things needed to be addressed and struck, ” Day stated. “Going into the race, I said I becamen’t planning to leave without a medal or team tournament. This Can Be one of several top moments of my working career, undoubtedly.”