LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Indiana State cross country runner John Mascari capped an impressive freshmen campaign with yet another impressive race as he placed 60 th at the 2012 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships with a school record time of 30:25.6 over the 10,000 meter course at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky.
Mascari was 13 seconds better than the previous school record time of 30:38 set by Craig Padgett at the 2011 Great Lakes Region Championship in Toledo, Ohio. His 60 th place finish is the second best placement at the Nationals by a Sycamore and the best finish for the 10,000 meter distance. Charlie Warthum has the top finish, a 41st place finish in the 1970 Nationals when the distance was six miles.
Mascari went out in the top 60 and was running tough from the get go.
“We went out in about a 4:40 for the first mile,” Mascari said. “I knew it would go out fast. At that point I was in the 50’s and I just tried to hold on the best I could.”
He then jockeyed for position and eventually held on for 60th.
“I was only 20 places off of being an All-American, that’s not a bad place to start,” Mascari said. “I’m only a freshman so we’ll see how the next few years go.”
Indiana state men’s cross country coach John McNichols was very pleased with Mascari’s efforts.
“That was a great run today when you figure he was seventh in his region and there were nine regions,” McNichols said. “Finishing in 60th place isn’t too bad. We trained John for the NCAA Regional last weekend and his training may be geared more toward peaking this weekend a year from now.”
The race was won individually by Texas Tech Junior Kennedy Kithuka in 28:31.3. Arizona senior Stephen Sambu was second in 28:38.6 with 2011 NCAA Champion Lawi Lalang, a sophomore from Arizona, third in 28:51.8. Texas El-Paso freshman Anthony Rotich was fourth in 29:13.5.
Oklahoma State University won their third team title in the last four years with 72 points. Wisconsin was the defending champion and finished second with 135 points while Colorado was third with 158 and Northern Arizona fourth with 191.