The Eastern Kentucky University men’s cross country team finished 17th at the Division I NCAA Championships on Saturday at E.P. ‘Tom’ Sawyer Park.
It is the Colonels’ second-best national finish ever. EKU finished 23rd in 2014, 15th in 2013, 24th in 2012 and 26th in 2011.
Junior Jaime Escriche led the charge for EKU, finishing 37th out of 252 competitors and covering the 10K course in a time of 30:24.3 to earn All-America honors. He joins Soufiane Bouchikhi (2012, 2013), Wade Meddles (2012) and Jacob Korir (2005, 2006, 2007) on the list of recent Colonel All-Americans.
Freshman Erick Rotich was second on the team and 90th overall with a time of 30:53.4. Juniors Amos Kosgey (124th / 31:10.8) and Ambrose Maritim (137th / 31:17.9) and sophomore Jamaine Coleman (173rd / 31:38.8) rounded out the Colonels’ scoring five at the national championship meet.
Sophomore Sergio Mena and junior Luis Luna also competed for Eastern on Saturday.
EKU finished with 446 points to beat the likes of Oklahoma State (450), Minnesota (464), Tulsa (468), Southern Utah (477), Virginia (480), California (524) and Michigan State (543).
Syracuse upset No. 1 Colorado with 82 points to win the national title.
It was EKU’s fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships. The Colonels are one of only 10 teams in the country to qualify for the national championships each of the last five years.