LAWRENCE, Kan. - The Red Wolves are flying high in the aftermath of a cool experience at the national meet.
Seth Prince matched the fourth-fastest time in school history and Collin Burris ran a strong time on a crowded course for Indiana University East at the NAIA Men's Cross Country National Championship on Nov. 23 at Rim Rock Farm.
Prince (Albany, Ind./Delta High School), a junior, finished the 8K race in 27:04, good for 228th place.
Burris (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central High School), a freshman, was 297th in 28:38.
"We're still thawing out," said IU East coach Brett Crowley, still shivering over the speakerphone on a 28-degree morning, "but all in all, it was a great day for us."
Prince completed a season that saw him post five of the top 10 8K times in IU East's cross country history.
"The race was cold. A lot of people started fast. I tried to keep pace on the hills and pick off as many people as I could," Prince said.
"Overall, the whole trip was a good experience. It was nice to have a teammate along. It was my first time flying, so that was interesting, and we represented IU East well."
Prince recorded the fastest time by an IU East men's runner at a national meet.
Burris said the flight to the national meet site - also his first - and an excursion to The University of Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame - were highlights of the trip.
As for the race, "It was really eye-opening, running with the top runners in the nation," he said. "It was a really great experience, something I can hopefully learn from and make myself better for next year."
Prince and Burris were the first IU East men's cross country runners to reach the national meet since 2009.
IU East cross country has now been represented at the national meet in four of the program's six seasons (men in 2009 and 2013; women in 2009, 2010 and 2011).
"We want to come back next year for sure - and bring more of our friends (other runners on the IU East teams)," Crowley said. "This is a great accomplishment for our program and puts us in the right direction moving forward."
Eric Avila of Southern Oregon University won the race in 24:02. Oklahoma City University won the team title.
NAIA Men's Cross Country National Championship results
|IU East at|
|River States Conference Championships (at WVU Tech)|
|IU East at|
|NAIA National Championships (North Farm Cross Country Course)|