LAKELAND, FL – The Owls finished seventh in the National USCAA Cross Country Meet this morning. The outstanding finish was made more astonishing by the extreme climate difference between the Owls normal Northern Maine training temperatures in the 40's and 50's and the balmy Florida temperature of 82, with 74% humidity at the start of the race.
Junior Sully Jackson, used the experience he earned in last years nationals to finish first for the Owls with a time of 29:58, garnering a 29th overall finish. Jackson ran his typically well paced race in finishing eight spots better than his 2014 Nationals finish of 37th.
The heat caused a shakeup in the finish order for UM-Presque Isle. Usual front runner Connor Hrynuk ran in the third position (59th of 126 overall finishers at 31:30) with Corey Hebert running this, his final race for the Owls, in the second spot (48th, 31:27).
Andrew Hunt, was not detered by the heat and humidity, improving markedly in finishing as the Owl's 4th scoring runner (54th at 31:53), followed by Saul Nunez as the fifth man (60th, 32:13), Trevor Levesque (65th), Mitchell St. Peter (74TH, 33:11), and Matthew Forshey (91ST, 34:29).
Race winner was Kenyan native Emmanuell Kimmei of Berea at 26:32.
"Despite the heat we ran well enough to more up seven spots over last year, from 14th to 7th," said Head Coach Chris Smith. "I thought we'd move up at least that much and may have done better had the heat not taken its toll. Everyone, however, had to deal with the elements and I'm very happy with the way we ran, both men and women."