By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Eric Avila of Southern Oregon has been named the NAIA Men's Cross Country National Runner of the Week, the national office announced Wednesday. Avilawas chosen for his performance during the week of Sept. 23 – 29 and was selected out of a pool of conference, independent, and unaffiliated grouping award winners.
Avila, a junior from Chula Vista, Calif., placed seventh at the Stanford Invitational, covering the 8-kilometer course in 24:38. In his first race of the season, Avila finished 13 seconds behind the first-place runner, Erik Olson from NCAA Division I No. 20 Stanford (Calif.). The Invitational also featured competitors from several other NCAA Division I schools and runners from NCAA Division II No. 4 Chico State (Calif.) and NCAA Division II No. 6 Colorado Mines. Avila trimmed 25 seconds off of his time from last year’s Stanford Invitational, where he finished 25th. His 2013 time was good for second among non-Division I runners. Avila’s Southern Oregon squad placed fourth among non-Division I teams behind NCAA Division II teams Chico State, Colorado Mines and San Bernardino (Calif.).
For the complete player of the week calendar, click here.
Nominees: Thomas Chelulei, Park (Mo.); Taylor Whitmore, Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.); Jordan Black, Truett-McConnell (Ga.); Michael Basuini, William Jessup (Calif.); Dylan Creger, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.); Danny Bahret, St. Francis (Ill.); Ryan Smith, Goshen (Ind.); Jacob Reinking, Indiana Wesleyan; Oliver Lange, Westminster (Utah); Ben Sievert, Concordia (Neb.); Jake Kment, Doane (Neb.); Phillip Cheriyout, Missouri Valley; Corey Matteson, Baker (Kan.); Colton McNinch, Southwestern (Kan.); Joel Allen, Tabor (Kan.); Joe Magana, Sterling (Kan.); Matt McKenzie, St. Louis Pharmacy (Mo.); Brett Pierce, Campbellsville (Ky.); Herbert Beyale, III, Haskell (Kan.); Aubrey Barnes, St. Ambrose (Iowa); Deane Wichelt, William Penn (Iowa); Richard Langdeaux, Valley City State (N.D.); David Guillen, Texas at Brownsville; Adam Godwin, Oklahoma Baptist; Robert Dupoint , Science & Arts (Okla.); Peter Koskey, Oklahoma City; Tekste Gebreslasse, John Brown (Ark.); Dominic Cabada, St. Gregory's (Okla.); Jacob Reeves, Bethel (Tenn.); Ryan Archie, William Carey (Miss.); Zach Sollie, Auburn Montgomery (Ala.); Josh Thatcher, Southern Wesleyan (S.C.); Doug Mumme, Belhaven (Miss.); Brandon Scott , Webber International (Fla.); Sam Chandler, Southeastern (Fla.); Aaron Person, St. Thomas (Fla.); Avonte Boykins, Northwood (Fla.); Edward Barreto, Warner (Fla.); Jon Riley, SCAD Savannah (Ga.); Trevor Coules, Ave Maria (Fla.).
2013 Men's Cross Country Composite Award Winners
Week 1 (September 18): Mike Blaszczyk, St. Francis (Ill.)
Week 2 (September 25): Sam Atkin, Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)
Week 3 (October 2): Eric Avila, Southern Oregon