Men’s Cross Country: St. Francis wins NAIA National Championship
From wire reports November 17, 2012 9:38PM
Updated: December 19, 2012 4:05PM
VANCOUVER, Wash. — Led by All-Americans senior Phil Rizzo (Evergreen Park), junior Mike Blaszczyk and freshman Brandon Carson, the University of St. Francis won the 2012 NAIA Men’s Cross Country National Championship Saturday at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.
USF’s national title is the second in school history and the first for men’s cross country. The Saints captured the NAIA baseball championship in 1993.
Placing three runners among the top 30, St. Francis totaled 138 points in the final team standings. Southern Oregon University was the runner-up with 153 points, followed California State University-San Marcos (165), Oklahoma Baptist University (179) and Aquinas College (191). In all, 31 teams participated in the meet.
Rizzo finished in eighth place overall as he covered the 8K course in 24:44. Blaszczyk and Carson crossed the line one second apart (25:10, 25:11) to place 23rd and 24th.
Juniors Dylan Reyes and Jake Ferris rounded out the Saints’ five scorers. Reyes finished 60th overall (25:45), while Ferris checked in 74th (25:54).
Senior Mike Topp (93rd/26:04) and sophomore Matt Peacock (228th/27:22) were USF’s sixth and seventh finishers.
NCAA Division II National Championships: Lewis’ Andrew McLain (31:35.5) finished 106th in the 10-kilometer race in Joplin, Mo. Alaska-Anchorage’s Micah Chelimo (28.56.6) was the individual champion, while Adams State (34), from Alamosa, Colo., captured the team title.
Contributing: Josh Krockey