Men Grab Sixth Place in First Race

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The John Brown University men's cross country team finished sixth out of eight teams at the Southwest Baptist (Mo.) Bearcat Invitational on Friday (Sept. 2) evening at the Bolivar City Municipal Golf Course.

The Golden Eagles finished with 166 points, behind Missouri Southern's 15, Central Missouri's 78, Southwest Baptist's 83, Drury's (Mo.) 106 and Washburn's (Kan.) 130. JBU finished ahead of William Woods's (Mo.) 179 and Evangel's (Mo.) 218.

"Our men's team performed very strong," head coach Scott Schochler said. "Almost all of our returners were faster than they were at the end of last fall, and our newcomers jumped right into a very tough field. The men also had to deal with an unwelcomed surprise in their race. They were supposed to race four miles, but because of getting misdirected toward the end of the race, they ran almost five."

Sophomore Josh Uzelac led the Golden Eagles with a time of 25:59.15, which was good enough for 28th place overall in the 7,800-meter race.

"Josh had another very good performance," added Schochler. "We had some good surprises as well."

Sophomore Jacob Benjamin placed 31st with a time of 26:17.82 while freshman Elliott Pearson ran a 27:13.51 and finished 48th in his first collegiate race.

Sophomore Michael Games took 50th overall at 27:34.14.

"Jacob ran with the front pack of our team for the first time and finished as our number two runner," Schochler said. "Elliott ran strongly and Michael and Jacob (Synek) each had very good races to round out our top five.

"Four of these young men are sophomores, and the other is only a freshman. I am very hopeful that our entire team is on the verge of a great year of racing."

Sophomore Jacob Synek was 52nd at 27:39.87 and junior Justin Riffel 55th at 27:43.48.

Senior Kent McDonell was 58th at 27:54.10 and senior Levi Nordmeyer 59th at 28:01.65.

Freshman Ethan Stafford finished 72nd at 29:38.74, and brother junior Aaron Stafford 73rd at 29:41.30.

Junior Jacob Braschler placed 75th at 31:10.20, and freshman Nathan Pearson was 76th at 31:49.54, freshman Arturo Rivera 77th at 31:50.93, and junior Thomas Bearden 78th at 31:53.44.

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