Bruins cross country set personal bests at invitational meet

With the BJU Bruins cross country team heading into the last few weeks of the 2014 season, both the men’s and the women’s teams traveled down to Beaufort, South Carolina, last weekend to accompany 41 other schools in the Sand Shark Invitational at USC-Beaufort. The men took 17th place, and the women placed 25th. Both teams ran Saturday morning, as the men’s team started an 8-kilometer race (4.9 miles) at 9 a.m., and the women began their 5-kilometer run (3.1 miles) at 9:45 a.m.

It was a beautiful morning for a run, and the course provided scenic views of a beautiful lake and a clear fall sky. The beginning of the race was chilly for some runners, but they quickly warmed up and ran well.

Senior Nathan Zakariasen recorded a career best time of 26 minutes 18 seconds as he led the men’s squad and placed 38th overall. Sophomore Elena Wornom had the top Bruins time for the women’s team as she timed in at 20 minutes and 19 seconds. Overall, 8 out of the 10 men’s runners had personal bests, as well as nine out of the 11 women’s runners who competed.

Head Coach Landon Bright was excited with the results: “I am very pleased with the results. Most of our runners hit their lifetime bests at this meet. It is probably our best team effort in program history and we beat some teams that beat us earlier in the year.”

The Bruins look to carry the momentum gained in Saturday’s meet into their next competition this Saturday at Toccoa Falls College in Georgia.

This meet will be the final tuneup before the NCCAA National Championships Nov. 15 in Houghton, New York.