EMU - Men's Cross Country Takes Fourth in NCAA Great Lakes Regional

EMU - Men's Cross Country Takes Fourth in NCAA Great Lakes Regional

Provided by EMU

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (EMUEagles.com) - The Eastern Michigan University men's cross country team finished fourth at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Friday, Nov. 10, in Terre Haute, Ind. The Eagles had four runners finish within the top-25 as they finished with a total team score of 113 points.

"I am very proud of our team effort which was our best of the year," Head Coach John Goodridge said. "The boys raced very competitively in our attempt to qualify for nationals. While we fell short of our goal we are very proud of Hlynur Andresson's runner-up placing and national qualification. He has come a long way from very modest high school credentials."

Redshirt senior Hlynur Andresson (Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland-Mountain Ridge) continued his outstanding season by pacing the Eagles with a second-place finish, crossing the line six seconds after the top finisher in 31:00. His performance saw the highest finish of an Eastern Michigan harrier since 2006, when Corey Nowitzke took home the regional title. Additionally, his finish was 14 places higher than in last year's event.

Fellow redshirt senior Mitch Lenneman (River Falls, Wis.-River Falls) also put together a fabulous performance, notching a personal-best 10K time of 31:25.79, and claiming 13th place. His 13th-place finish was the second-best on the team and 14 places higher than his finish in last year's competition.

Redshirt senior Lahsene Bouchikhi (Antwerp, Belgium-Stedelijk Lyceum Paardenmarkt Luchthaven) and senior Abel Flores (Defiance, Ohio-Defiance) rounded out the EMU harriers within the top-25, as they finished 18th and 24th in 31:24 and 31:30, respectively. Bouchikhi's ranking was seven places higher than the 2016 regional championship, while Flores topped his finish in last year's event by one place.

For their efforts, each of the aforementioned student-athletes earned all-region honors. The regional honors were Andresson's third, Flores' second, and the first of Bouchikhi and Lenneman's careers.

Senior Csaba Matko (Racalmas, Hungary-Szechenyi Istvan Gimnazium), freshman Hunter Moore (Lewis Center, Ohio-Olentangy Orange), and sophomore Austin Wicker (Pinckney, Mich.-Pinckney) also competed in the regional competition, placing 56th, 63th, and 88th, respectively.

As the Eagles did not end up securing a top-two finish, they will now wait to see if they have earned an at-large bid to the upcoming NCAA Championships, which will be announced this weekend. If they do qualify as a team, it would mark the first NCAA Championships team appearance for the program since 2005. Andresson, however, is in line to secure an individual berth, as he was one of the top four finishers in the region not on an automatic-qualifying team.

The NCAA Championships are scheduled to be held next week, Saturday, Nov. 18, in Louisville, Ky.

Team Results

1. Michigan State 68

2. Michigan 79

3. Wisconsin 84

4. Eastern Michigan 113

5. Purdue 136

EMU Individual Results

2. Hlynur Andresson 31:00

13. Mitch Lenneman 31:21

18. Lahsene Bouchikhi 31:24

24. Abel Flores 31:30

56. Csaba Matko 32:14

63. Hunter Moore 32:21

88. Austin Wicker 32:51