Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney cross country teams finished fourth (women) and fifth (men) at the 2020 Division II National Invitational Saturday morning in Lubbock, Texas.
This meet, hosted by Lubbock Christian, caps a short 2020 cross country season. The teams and individuals running today had to qualify at events around the country in October.
Cracking the top 25 to earn “All-National Invite Team” honors was Imperial senior Destiny Reinke and Juniata junior Justin Vrooman. Reinke, scoring nine team points, ran a 6k in 11:45.7 to place 13th with Vrooman starting the day by coming in 14th in a 10k (32:42.67).
The top four teams picked up some hardware as well with the Loper women trailing only Dallas Baptist (51), Westminster of Utah (67) and MIAA rival Northwest Missouri State (71). UNK, scoring 130 points, was down a key runner due to injury. The field consisted of 10 schools and 95 runners.
Florance Uwajeneza of Wext Texas A&M won (21:38.92) with the other UNK scorers being Iowa senior Maddie Bach (35th/24:07.16), Kearney freshman Grace Bonsall (42nd/24:16.91), Ulyssess junior Sinclare Fiala (49th/24:28.64) and Surprise sophomore Allie Frasher (51st/24:29.91). Each scored under 40 points.
The short-handed Loper men were fifth out of 11 with 147 points. Down two key runners, UNK beat MIAA rival Washburn (9th/210 points) and was just 24 points behind fourth place Fort Lewis. Alabama-Huntsville (46 points) easily won as they had five of the first 13 finishers.
Tony Torres of Colorado Mesa was the champ (31:37.68) in a field of 89 runners. After Vrooman, seven Lopers finished between 34th-47th place. The scorers were Scottsbluff junior Josh Hergenreder, Kearney juniors Cole Willis and Matt Thurston and Milford sophomore Ty Masco.
The indoor track and field season begins the first weekend in December.