LAWRENCE, Kan. — Despite falling twice in the first two miles Saturday, Oregon Tech senior Scott Minor still ran his fastest time in the men's 8,000-meter cross country race, this time at the NAIA national championships.
Minor, in his third national race, had hoped to finish in the top 30 to secure All-American status.
He finished 41st out of the 313 runners in the national championships at Rim Rock Ranch west of Lawrence. Minor was timed in 25 minutes, 22.93 seconds, 12 seconds shy of gaining All-American honors at the meet.
OIT sophomore Paul Adams, who also had qualified for the national meet, did not run because of an injury. Throughout the last few races, Adams was near the front and likely would have had a chance to place in the top 30, as well.
For Minor, it is the third time he has been close to a top 30 finish at the national meet which, in his two previous appearances had been run at Fort Vancouver National Monument in Vancouver, Wash.
While Minor came up short in his efforts to become an All-American, both individual champions this season came from the Cascade Collegiate Conference — with The College of Idaho's Hilary Holt winning the women's title, and Southern Oregon's Eric Avila the men's title.
Holt won the women's 5K race in 16:48.13, almost 10 seconds ahead of runner-up Hannah Helker of Oklahoma Baptist. There were 319 runners to complete the women's race.
Holt's efforts helped CofI to a second-place team finish behind the University of British Columbia. Lewis-Clark State was fourth and Northwest Christian ninth in the women's team race.
Avila, Southern's first ever national cross country champion, won the men's 8K race in 24:02.45, and was more than 21 seconds ahead of Sam Atkin of Lewis-Clark State.
As with the women, Southern, which had entered the race ranked No. 1, finished second in the team race behind Oklahoma City University. Eastern Oregon was 11th in the race, and The College of Idaho 21st.
This year's race was the first in a two-year cycle where the meet will be contested at Rim Rock Ranch.