Pioneers place 7th at AMC Championship Meet, individuals fall short of NAIAs
Nov. 6, 2010
HOUGHTON, N.Y. -- The Point Park University men's cross country team placed 7th of 9 schools Saturday at the American Mideast Conference Championship Meet at Houghton College, and Pioneers' hopefuls for individual qualifying to the NAIA national meet feel just short of the pace.
Point Park's top runner, junior Andrew Rowland from Pittsburgh and Fox Chapel High School, entered the race with times that gave him a good shot of advancing to the national meet, but the transfer from Geneva College was 39 seconds and nine placements off that pace.
Rowland was the top finisher for the Pioneers Saturday with a time of 26 minutes, 45 seconds, which was good for 26th place. Individual qualifiers must place in the top 15 finishers and be among the top-5 runners who are not members of the two NAIA-qualifying teams.
As it was, Malone and Cedarville dominated the field. Malone, ranked No. 4 in the NAIA, won the meet with 29 points and had seven of the top 12 finishers. Cedarville, the No. 20 team, was second and will joing Malone at the NAIA meet. Malone and Cedarville accounted for all but three of the first 15 individuals in the 8K race.
The Point Park team asserted itself well in a field that is very challenging every year. The Pioneers had three runners finish under 28 minutes. Junior Reuben Rono, from Kenya, was 36th at 27:12, and sophomore Dylan Grunn, from Honesdale, Pa., was 51st at 27:56. Rono has been running as the Pioneers' No. 2 runner this year, and based on his times, he entered the conference meet with an outside shot at making the national field.
Chris Kennedy (29:33) and Andrew Witchey (29:52) rounded out the top five for Point Park followed by Ian McIntosh (30:13), Jonathan Rohlf (30:20) and Jared Ferree (31:52).
The course at Houghton College was generally flat with slight undulations. Temperatures were in the low 30s with snowy conditions.
Malone's James Zeuch cruised to the individual championship with a time of 24:43, which was 33 seconds head of the second-place finisher.