USCB’s Tewodros Eckstein became the first conference champion in the history of the Sand Shark men’s cross country program when he claimed the men’s title at the Sun Conference Cross Country Championship on Saturday in Ave Maria, Fla.
Eckstein blazed to an 8K time of 26:32 — a new personal-best time — to edge John Perez-Dunn of Southeastern by 12 seconds and become the first USCB runner to claim the men’s conference crown.
Senior Justin Dolata had the second-best finish for the Sand Sharks, finishing in 23rd in 29:02, while Sam Williams (29:15) and Jay King (29:18) finished 25th and 26th among 72 runners.
USCB finished fourth among eight teams but was just 11 points out of second place in a tightly-packed leaderboard.
The Sand Shark women collected a pair of top-10 individual finishes, with Alexa Lashley (20:24) pacing USCB in ninth place and teammate Jenitza Trinidad (20:35) right behind in 10th in the 5K race.
Madison Mury Riley (21:08) and Riley Edwards (21:19) finished 17th and 18th to help the Sand Sharks place third, just four points behind the runner-up squad.
The NAIA postponed its fall national championships until spring, so Eckstein will compete at the 2020 NAIA Cross Country Championships on April 9, 2021, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.