Nov. 21, 2009
VANCOVER, Wash. – (Individual Results) Malone (Ohio) won its third consecutive title, earning 44 team points at the 2009 NAIA Men’s Cross Country National Championships, from the Fort Vancouver Historical Site on Saturday. The Pioneers defeated second-place Concordia (Neb.) by 122 points. The Cascade Collegiate Conference and Concordia (Ore.) University hosted the event for the first time.
Malone, who was ranked No. 2 to end the season, placed three runners in the top 10 and all five athletes finished in the top 16. Junior Aaron Melhorn, a year after taking All-America honors and a fifth-place finish, was the top Pioneer runner with a third-place time of 24:36. He was 12 seconds behind the runner up, Carison Kemei of McKendree (Ill.).
Malone wins its fourth title overall in the 53rd year of the event. The Pioneers are tied for the third-most team championships behind Adams State (Colo.) (12), Lubbock Christian (Texas) (8) and matches the four of Emporia State (Kan.), Fort Hays State (Kan.) and Life (Ga.).
The individual medalist honor went to Oklahoma Christian’s Silas Kisorio, a sophomore who finished 28th in last year’s Championship. With a mark of 24:23, Kisorio becomes the first male runner to take the top finish in the school’s history. He narrowly defeated Kemei of McKendree by a mere one second.
“It feels good and I am very excited,” said Kisorio. “The crowd was great and the people were yelling my name. The course was good but the rain wasn’t so much fun. I know that I’m good at the finish so all I wanted to do was hang with the pack.”
Kisorio admits that he is a middle-distance runner and proof shown in the fact that he won the 800-meter outdoor event last year in the National Championships. He also was second in the 1,500-meters at the Outdoor Championships.
Abednego Magut, a junior from Azusa Pacific (Calif.) and the highest returning finisher from last year’s event, took home fourth-place honors.
The 2009 NAIA Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year honors went to Jack Hazen of Malone College. This is the fourth time for the 41-year head coach. He also earned the honors in 1972, 2007 and 2008 – all three years the Pioneers won the national title.
Malone (Ohio), Simon Fraser (B.C.), California State-San Marcos and College of Idaho earned the team awards after compiling the lowest combined (men and women) scores at the national championships.
Lowest Combined Team Scores:
1. Malone (Ohio) University – 207 (44 men, 163 women)
2. Simon Fraser (B.C.) – 470 (275 men, 195 women)
3. California State-San Marcos – 578 (441 men, 137 women)
4. College of Idaho – 603 (357 men, 246)
For more information on the Championships, click here.