Men’s cross country records highest finish at national meet

Devon Martinez  

Dmarti31@uccs.edu  

     The UCCS Men’s Cross-Country team scored 254 points and ended in fifth place on Nov. 20, recording their highest NCAA Division II National Championship meet result.  

     Their previous highest team finish at a NCAA national meet was 11th place in 2004 and 2012.  

     In Saint Leo, Florida, junior Afewerki Zeru earned All-American honors, finishing 15th overall at 31:48.6. Zeru is the fourth UCCS runner to earn the honors and the first since Moses Tum in 2004. To achieve the honors, runners must finish in the top 40 of all athletes. 

     According to Go Mountain Lions, Zeru’s 15th place finish is also the third best in UCCS history.  

Afewerki Zeru earned All-American honors after finishing 15th overall in a time of 30:49.7. Photo courtesy of Ryan Cruz (gomountainlions.com).

     Four Mountain Lions finished at the 32-minute mark: Redshirt senior Mark Simmons, redshirt sophomore Evan Graff, redshirt freshman Gavin Harden and graduate student Branden Bohling.  

     Simmons ended the race in 63rd place at 32:02.2. One second behind him was Graff who finished at 32.03.9 for 66th place. Harden followed 23-seconds behind for a 91st place finished in 32:26.7.  

     On the edge of the 32-minute mark was Bohling, who posted a 32:57.6 time and 130th place overall.  

     The seventh UCCS runner was redshirt sophomore Will Young, competing in his first National Meet. He ended in 162nd place at 33:22.0.  

     The top four UCCS finishers have made repeat appearances at national meets. Zeru, Schramm and Simmons had all competed in three national meets and Graff has run in two.