LOUISVILLE (11-19) – Freshman Paul Colosi and Sophomore Shannon McClish capped enormously successful seasons by competing in the 2016 NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Cross Country National Championships on a cold, windy day at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer Park in Louisville, Kentucky. The Men's and Women's Championship races feature 32 teams plus 56 individual qualifiers in each.
In the men's race, Colosi finished in 261st place with a time of 27:02.5. He is the first freshman in school history to qualify for the National Championships. Colosi concluded his freshman cross country campaign as the 8th fastest performer in school history as well as being honored as NCAA All-Region and the Association of Division III Independents Male Runner of the Year and Male Rookie of the year.
In the women's race, McClish placed 128th with a time of 22:08.4. Her time of 22:08.4 was a personal best and placed her as the 4th fastest performer in school history. She is only the 2nd Banana Slug to advance to the National Championships as a sophomore. McClish ended the season with NCAA All-Region and Association of Division III Independents First Team All-Independent awards to her name.
"Shannon was really impressive today," said Banana Slugs Head Coach Jamey Harris. "It's not easy to come up with the fastest race of your life in your first National Championship. Paul's performance is about what we would expect from a freshman at this race. It wasn't his best day, but he gained some very valuable experience."
In the men's team competition, North Central College won their 17th national title, as Ian LaMere of University of Wisconsin-Platteville took the individual honors. Johns Hopkins University won the women's team championship, their 4th in 5 years, while Amy Regan of Stevens Institute of Technology won the individual competition.
UC Santa Cruz Cross Country runners now turn their attention to the 2017 Track & Field season.