Joplin, Missouri: (11/14/20): The Running Eagles of Alice Lloyd College, under the guidance of Coach Brandon Arnold, traveled to Missouri for the NCCAA Division II National Cross Country Championship meet held at Seneca Cross Country Course. This year’s host was Joplin Sports Authority and Ozark Christian College.
In women’s action, Bob Jones University took home its first DII Women’s Cross Country National Championship. The women’s 5k race featured 18 DI and DII schools with over 75 competitors. The Bruins finished with 25 points and had four runners in the top ten. Alice Lloyd College and Maranatha Baptist University both finished behind the Bruins with 61 points each. ALC finished second based on the tie-breaker.
Abigail Doak of Maranatha Baptist won the individual title, beating out 41 other DII runners with a time of 19:35.64. BJU’s Hannah Peterson took second in a time of 19:49.80. Alice Lloyd sophomore Carlee Salyers finished fifth in 20:51.72.
The other members of the Lady Eagles all managed solid times as well. Senior Morgan Arthur (22:24), junior Brooke Vanover (22:28), junior Abigail Webb (22:38), and freshman Jordan Riley (22:47) rounded out the top five. Since the total placement between Alice Lloyd and Maranatha Baptist was tied at 61 after the first five finishers, the judges then went to the sixth runner. Happily, for ALC, freshman Sara Cecil would come in just three seconds later (22:50) and clinch the runner-up spot for the Lady Eagles.
In addition, junior Hannah Bryant (23:14), sophomore Cara Acey (23:23), freshman Peyton Rader (23:44), and senior Rachel McCoy (23:44)) would all push the squad to their runner-up podium finish.
In men’s action, Bob Jones University (BJU) claimed its fifth-straight DII Men’s Cross Country National Championship. The men’s 8k race featured 18 DI and DII schools with over 95 competitors. The Bruins finished 36 points and had four runners place in the top ten. Alice Lloyd College finished second with 50 points, and Maranatha Baptist University had 67 points to place third.
Jeremy Fopma of Maranatha Baptist won the individual title over 43 DII runners with a time of 25:46.57. Fopma’s time was also almost a full minute faster than the fastest DI runner. Ozark Christian College’s Eli Connatser finished second in a time of 27:04.81. Alice Lloyd senior Ryan Morris finished fourth, as he broke the tape in a school-record time of in 27:27.71. Additionally, Morris was also the 11th runner to cross the finish line, regardless of division.
For ALC, freshman Anthony Hidalgo set the school freshman record, as he crossed the line in 27:52, good enough for sixth position. Junior Alex Lewis finished the course in 9th place with a solid run of 28:26.
Freshman Owen Lindsey (29:39) gave ALC their fourth runner below thirty minutes while classmate Joshua Lee (30:19) was not far behind.
In addition, senior Noah Stevenson (31:13), junior Jacob Bush (31:21) freshman Micah Blankenship (32;48), and junior Jacob Vanhook (32:01) all came through with big performances as well.
The Alice Lloyd cross country program is definitely on the rise. The men’s roster will return the majority of their squad next year while the ladies return a solid core as well. In addition, both Morris and Hidalgo qualified earlier for the NAIA Cross Country Nationals which have been moved to the spring. They are the first two men in school history to earn that honor.