Nov. 17, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - On Friday, Lamar cross country star Matt Johnsen stated his goal was to be named an All-American at the NCAA National Championships, and on Saturday, he did just that, finishing 33rd in the race at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer Park.
Johnsen finished with a time of 29:56.2, and became just the fourth Lamar All-American, joining Gerry Garcia, Francis Kasagule and Samuel Kosgei.
"I felt really good and I couldn't be happier," Johnson said. "The race went to plan all the way through. I think that the experience from the last two years helped me, and I knew what to expect."
"We talked last night about what he needed to do," cross country coach Darren Gauson said. "He got out to a nice easy start around 120 and then started picking people off down the stretch. He had to get it perfect, and he did. He improved every week this season, and it was another good performance for him."
Johnsen was the second-best finisher for the Southland as McNeese State's David Rooney came in seventh. Texas Tech's Kennedy Kithuka took home the individual crown with a time of 28:31.3, and Oklahoma State placed four runners in the top 20 to earn the team championship.
The race officially brought the 2012 cross country season to an end, and Johnsen, along with many of the other LU runners from this year, will begin preparing for next semester's indoor and outdoor track seasons.