U of DM - We Are The Champions As Men's Cross Country Wins First Ever Horizon League Title

U of DM - We Are The Champions As Men's Cross Country Wins First Ever Horizon League Title

Provided by Detroit Mercy

BOARDMAN, Ohio (11/2/2013) -- The University of Detroit Mercy men's cross country team won its first ever event earlier in the year and will now add to that trophy mantle as the Titans captured their first-ever Horizon League championship on Saturday. The 8k race was held at Boardman High School in Boardman, Ohio.

The men had five runners in the top 11 to secure not only a team championship, but five individual All-League honors as Detroit totaled 33 points, beating host Youngstown State by 39 (72) and Wright State by 42 (75). Oakland took fourth with 84 points, while Milwaukee was fifth at 89.

Prior to today's championship run, Detroit's highest finish at the league meet was runner-up in 1980, 1985 and '86, while the most All-League runners it has had at the event was three. Earlier in the year, UDM won its first-ever race in cross country history by capturing the 27th Annual Running Fit-Detroit Titan Invitational.

UDM was in position for a title right from the start as there were three runners in the top six at the first loop in the 8k course. By the time the race was at the 5k point, Detroit had three harriers in the top five and the team was able to hold strong with five in the top 11 in muddy and light rain conditions.

Senior Martin Nelkie and junior Ryan Hofsess each made the First Team All-Horizon League as the duo finished third and fourth, respectively. After taking ninth last season for second team accolades, Nelkie claimed third in 25:54, just four seconds off of second place. It was his fourth top-10 effort on the year and the sixth time he was in the top 20.

Hofsess, despite slipping and falling on the last lap, was able to take home All-Horizon League honors for the first time clocking a 26:03 for fourth, his fifth top 10 event on the year. Junior George Holman also won an honor for the first time in his career taking seventh for first team membership with a career-low 26:14.

Sophomore Austin Wigent was right behind Holman for eighth in 26:18, just two seconds away from a personal record as he was Second Team All-Horizon League. Sophomore Derek Gielarowski was the fifth Titan to win All-League by finishing 11th in a 26:23, a PR by nine seconds.

Senior Sam Felton was 27th in 26:56, while junior Ylli Alla took 44th in 27:40 and sophomore Joshua Carolin ran a career-best 28:22 for 54th.

The awards didn't stop for the men there as head coach Guy Murray was named the Horizon League's Men's Coach of the Year for the first time in his career and the first by a coach in Titan history.

The men will now look for a strong showing at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Friday, Nov. 15, hosted by Wisconsin at the Zimmer Championship Course in Madison, Wis.