Nov. 23, 2013
TERRE HAUTE – Matt Johnsen and Ash Harrell saw each of their collegiate cross country careers come to an end on Saturday as the duo participated at the NCAA National Championships at Lavern Gibson National Cross Country Course.
Johnsen, a four-year national qualifier, was unable to repeat his All-American performance from a year ago, finishing 79th in the 254-athlete field with a time of 31:08.1 for the 10,000-meter course. The event marked the last for the Australian as a Cardinal athlete, and he ends his career as one of three LU men to earn Southland Cross Country Athlete of the Year and one of two to also take home a Southland Most Outstanding Performer during track season.
“I thought Matt ran solid, but last year set the bar really high because of how phenomenal he ran,” cross country coach Darren Gauson said. “He went for it again today, and it was a pretty good showing but he. This is a great finish to a great career.”
Harrell, the Southland’s Newcomer of the Year, completed his cross country career, but he will return for track next semester. The Dereham, England, native placed 230th with a time of 32:44.3.
“Ash had a really strong season for us, and I’m looking forward to seeing him run next semester,” Gauson said. “He’s not necessarily happy with his performance today, but he has to be proud of qualifying this year. That was a huge accomplishment.”
Oregon freshman Edward Cheserek took home the men’s individual title with a time of 29:41.1, and Colorado earned the team championship. Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino of Dartmouth won the women’s individual crown, and Providence was crowned as the team champion.