HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – University of South Alabama men’s cross country runner Kirami Yego crossed the line with a time of 29:42.89 and finished eighth in the 10k race Friday morning at the NCAA South Regional hosted by North Alabama at the John Hunt Cross Country Running Park, while also helping the Jaguar men finish ninth as a team.
Yego’s time marked the sixth-fastest in the distance in program history, and with his top 10 finish the freshman is positioned to earn an at-large bid to next weekend’s NCAA Championships. The regional finish by the Jag men was the best by the squad since 2007.
Adele Magaud, competing as an individual, finished 61st in the women’s 6k.
Meet: NCAA South Regional
Host: North Alabama and assisted by the Huntsville Sports Commission and the City of Huntsville
Place: John Hunt Cross Country (Huntsville, Ala.)
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS
WOMEN’S – 6K
1. Mercy Chelangat, Alabama (19:34.74); 2. Parker, Valby, Florida (19:41.38); 3. Sydney Seymour, Tennessee (19:46.52); 4. Joyce Kimell, Auburn (19:49.54); 5. Sintayehy Vissa, Ole Miss (19:54.65); 6. Flomena Asekol, Alabama (19:55.57); 7. Esther Gitahi, Alabama (19:58.46); 8. Lindsay Stallworth, East Tennessee State (19:59.84); 9. Lauren Ryan, Florida State (20:05.00); 10. Anna Elkin, Ole Miss (20:05.85)
61. Adele Maguad, South Alabama (21:30.54)
MEN’S – 10K
1. Adriann Wildschutt, Florida State (29:07.11); 2. Ahmed Muhumed, Florida State (29:20.50); 3. Victor Kiprop, Alabama (29:21.80); 4. Eliud Kipsang, Alabama (29:28.09); 5. Hillary Cheruiyot, Alabama (29:29.35); 6. Jacob Choge, Middle Tennessee (29:38.44); 7. Karl Thiessen, Tennessee (29:39.16); 8. Kirami Yego, South Alabama (29:42.89); 9. Sam Bowers, Georgia (29:46.20); 10. Grant O’Callaghan, Lipscomb (29:48.61)
WOMEN’S – 6K
1. Ole Miss (69); 2. Florida State (86); 3. Alabama (99); 4. Tennessee (121); 5. Florida (135); 6. Vanderbilt (175); 7. Lipscomb (194); 8. Middle Tennessee (198); 9. Georgia Tech (228); 10. Auburn (309); 11. Southern Mississippi (361); 12. Georgia (364); 13. Miami [Fla.] (414); 14. Kennesaw State (430); 15. Central Florida (455); 16. Samford (467); 17. East Tennessee State (469); 18. Belmont (478); 19. North Florida (542); 20. Tennessee Tech (570); 21. Memphis (573); 22. Stetson (630); 23. South Florida (676); 24. UAB (703); 25. Alcorn State (734); 26. Florida Atlantic (751); 27. UT-Martin (755); 28. Troy (768); 29. Georgia State (784); 30. Florida International (791); 31. Jacksonville State (844); 32. Georgia Southern (936)
— South Alabama (No Team Score)
MEN’S – 10K
1. Ole Miss (68); 2. Alabama (79); 3. Florida State (112); 4. Lipscomb (130); 5. North Florida (143); 6. Middle Tennessee (178); 7. Tennessee (228); 8. Florida (252); 9. South Alabama (296); 10. East Tennessee State (301); 11. Georgia (308); 12. Vanderbilt (315); 13. Georgia Tech (316); 14. Auburn (322); 15. Belmont (339); 16. Memphis (403); 17. UT-Martin (427); 18. Tennessee Tech (428); 19. Kennesaw State (496); 20. Mercer (578); 21. Chattanooga (583); 22. South Florida (623); 23. Troy (693); 24. Jacksonville State (717); 25. Florida Atlantic (723)
SOUTH ALABAMA INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCES
WOMEN’S – 6K
61. Adele Maguad (21:30.54)
MEN’S – 10K
8. Kirami Yego (29:42.89); 34. Onesmus Kemboi (30:51.71); 54. Teagan Flanagan (31:21.13); 94. Nate Pudner (32:18.80); 113. Charlie Slaughter (32:56.82); 122. Lance Cunigan (33:14.10); 129. Jared Peaslee (33:35.79)
– The regional appearances marked the first for both Magaud and Yego, while it was the second for Kemboi.
– Magaud competed as an individual and was the lone female runner for South Alabama to compete. The Jaguars were not eligible for a team score.
– With her 61st-place finish, Maguad posted her 12th career top-75 finish and set a new personal best in the 6k with a time of 21:30.54, shaving 40 seconds off her previous best set earlier this fall at the FSU XC/Pre-Nationals in Tallahassee, Fla.
– Magaud’s biggest move in the race came in between the 1.6k and 4.22k markers as she increased her positioning by 43 spots.
– Yego posted a time of 29:42.89 in the 10k to place eighth at the regional. His time marked the sixth-fastest time in the distance in program history, eclipsing David Kimani’s time of 30:06 set at the NCAA Championships (11/22/99) in Bloomington, Ind.
– Yego’s time was also the fastest in the distance since Tonny O’Kello (2005) at the NCAA South Regional.
– With his top 10 finish, Yego is in position to earn an at-large selection as an individual to the NCAA Championship meet set to be held next weekend. The announcement of those at-large selections are expected to be made Sunday.
– The top two teams from each region will earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships, while there will also be 13 at-large bids from around the nation. In addition to the teams advancing, the top four finishers from each regional not on one of the advancing teams will also earn a berth at the championship meet as long as they finish with in the top 25 of the region. Two additional athletes will be selected from the remainder of the national pool (and must have finished in the regional top 25) as at-large individuals.
– The ninth-place finish by the Jaguar men was the highest by the program at a regional since 2007 where they finished seventh.
– It was also just the eighth top 10 regional finish by the men in program history.
– With his 34th-place finish, Kemboi recorded his 23rd career top 35 finish, and his time of 30:51.71 was nine seconds faster than his previous best in the distance set at the 2019 NCAA South Regional.
– Senior runner Nate Pudner concluded his cross country career with a 10k personal best time of 32:18.80, shaving over a minute-and-a-half off his previous best time (33:42) set on Nov. 15, 1999 at the NCAA South Regional.
THEY SAID IT
Head coach Parker Cowles
– On Adele Maguad’s performance in the women’s 6k: “I was happy with what Adele accomplished today. It’s tough to be in the right mentality when you’re racing as an individual, but she executed very well. She did what she was supposed to do and ran a personal best in the 6,000 meters on a really soggy course and was able to finish in 61st place, which we haven’t had that many ladies place that high in the regional. I was really proud with what she did today and hope that it will be a great launching point for her to have a break-through year in the spring.”
– On Kirami Yego’s top 10 finish in the men’s 10k to position himself for a bid to the NCAA Championships: “Kirami got the job done. For him, this was largely a qualification race for Nationals, which is where he really wanted to be this year. I think he was a little squirrelly and got out pretty hard as he was counting places and worried about some competition. I think that drained him a little bit at the end of the race. Ultimately, he did what he needed to do and competed well, especially in the middle of the race, and was able to close pretty hard. We anticipate that he will qualify [for the NCAA Championships] as an individual and represent us in a week’s time.”
– On the men’s team performance in earning a ninth-place finish at the region: “I’m thrilled with how the men ran as a team. Not everyone had the ideal or perfect race, but they competed through and through. When you have seven guys show up and most of them do what they’re supposed to do and get the job done, you’re usually going to place well as a team, especially when you’ve got the talent that we have. The guys showed up and for the most part executed well. I think we were ranked 11th coming into the regional, but we wanted to be better than that. We were able to finish ahead of a lot of Power 5 teams for the first time in my tenure. Ninth place is the highest [regional] finish we’ve had since I’ve been here, which was a strong performance. Having three guys finish inside the top 60 was very good for our program. We really had a solid race top to bottom. We really came together for a 10,000-meter race, which we don’t have a lot of experience doing.”
– The NCAA Championships will be held in Tallahassee, Fla., at Apalachee Regional Park and hosted Florida State University on Saturday, Nov. 20. The men’s 10k scheduled to start at 10:10 a.m. (CT).
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