LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Four members of the Drake University men’s cross country team competed in the NCAA Pre-National Meet Saturday morning with Brogan Austin (Boone, Iowa) leading the Bulldogs with a 15th place finish.
The 8-kilometer race at Louisville’s E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park serves as a preview of next month’s NCAA Championships at the same venue and features one of the deepest and most talented fields the Bulldogs have seen to date. Drake did not compete as a team in the unseeded Black flight of the meet as the Bulldogs employed a split squad this weekend with the bulk of the team competing at Bradley on Friday.
“Our guys weren’t thrilled with their times,” Drake head coach Dan Hostager said. “But the competitive effort was there and that will help us down the line. It was good to see our guys get some national-level experience. That will serve us well in our upcoming championship meets.”
Austin turned in time of 24:41.5 for his 15th place showing followed by Charlie Lapham (Golden Valley, Minn.) in 61st at 24:47.7. Conor Wells (Des Moines, Iowa) finished in 25:40.8 to come in 96th while Rob McCann (Mississauga, Ontario) was 99th in the 278-runner field at 25:41.3
“This was a great experience,” Wells said. “It’s not every day you get to run in one of the best meets of the year against some great competition. It was a great learning experience to see what it takes to compete against the top runners in the nation.”
The Pre-National meet is the Bulldogs’ final meet before the start of the championship season on Oct. 27 with the Missouri Valley Championships in Normal, Ill.
15. Brogan Austin, 24:41.5
61. Charlie Lapham, 25:47.7
96. Conor Wells, 25:40.8
99. Robert McCann, 25:41.3