Bruins cross-country teams race at nationals, Iles wins All-American

The Bruins cross-country teams traveled to Cedarville, Ohio, last Saturday to compete in its final and most competitive race of the season: the NCCAA National Championships at Cedarville University.

Around 260 athletes from all over the nation competed in the races.

Coach Landon Bright chose 14 athletes to run. For the women’s 5K, seniors Abby Stanley, Meg Phillipo and Emily Dickinson ran with juniors Kaitlyn Unruh, Brittany Gibson, Brooke Wells and Abigail Dickinson. Stanley and Phillipo had the best running time of the women Bruins.

Representing the men in the 8K were senior Aaron Iles, juniors Nathan Zakariasen, Jonathon Davis and Joshua Anderson, sophomores Daniel Marinelli and Andrew Fox, and freshman Josh Rush. Iles and Zakariasen had the best running times, 26:10 and 27:39, respectively. Iles became the first All-American in Bruins history with his 9th place finish.

“There are a lot of nerves going into a big race like this, with forty quality teams on the line, and I felt going into it they were confident and ready to go,” Coach Bright said. “Overall they performed well, and I was pretty pleased. Since day one, both the men’s and the women’s teams have taken responsibility for making the program quality, and we surprised a lot of teams and coaches this year. We put ourselves on the map.”

Regarding next season, Bright added, “The athletes have a better idea of what to expect from themselves and the competition. Getting in a full year of training will help our current athletes, and getting new students into the program will help us improve as much as we can.”