Navy Concludes Season at NCAA Men's Cross Country Championship
LOUISVILLE - Racing on the grandest stage of national competition for the second straight year, the NCAA Championship, the Navy men's cross country team recorded a 31st-place finish on Saturday. Taking on the 10k course at Louisville's E.P. "Tom" Sawyer Park, the Mids kept a relatively close pack of five throughout the race as all five scoring runners finished within 70 places of each other. Jake Brophy (So., New Hope, Pa.) led the team's individual effort with a time of 31:17.70, good for 167th-place.
"We came into the meet hoping to finish in the top-25, but we came up against a very talented field, that raced great," remarked head coach Al Cantello. "This was truly an international field and you saw the western teams, who train at altitude really thrive today."
One week after leading Navy at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional meet, Brophy was again the top finishing Midshipmen on Saturday. Part of a tight three-person pack of Navy runners that were separated by just 1.4 seconds at the 4,000-meter mark with Kevin Murray (So., Wilmington, Del.) and Cory Donley (Sr., Salina, Kan.), Brophy started to get some separation over the next 4,000 meters. Following 8,000 meters of competition, Brophy had clocked in at 24:59.6, 9.1 seconds ahead of Murray. Brophy finished the final 2,000 meters in a time of 6:18 for his final result of 31:17.70.
Murray finished runner-up to his classmate in 183rd place at 31:25.98. Donley stayed within shouting distance of his teammates in 195th with a time of 31:34.00.
Jake Shewbert (So., Flowery Branch, Ga.) was the sixth Midshipmen to cross the finish as he completed the course in 246th at 33:19.40.
Taking on the national field of 250 runners and 31 teams, the Mids recorded 855 team points.
"Louisville did a great job of hosting this event and they deserve many compliments," said Cantello.
Northern Arizona repeated as the NCAA National Champions with 74 team points and five top-33 finishes. Portland and BYU finished in second and third, respectively with scores of 127 and 165. Stanford (221) and Arkansas (259) rounded out the top-five.
Syracuse's Justyn Knight won the individual title with a time of 29:00.11. The senior runner narrowly edged Northern Arizona's Matthew Baxter by 0.67 seconds.
Saturday was Navy's 12th appearance in program history at the NCAA Championship. Prior to 2016, the Mids had last competed in the national meet in 1997.