UK’s lone runner breezes past his last national time

By Jordan Ondrof

[email protected]

UK men’s cross country runner Jacob Thomson finished 44th at the Division 1 NCAA Cross Country National Championships on Saturday morning.

Thomson ran one of his best races at his hometown course in Louisville, E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park.

The sophomore transfer finished the 10k with a time of 30:30.50, only .9 seconds behind the runner who finished 40th.

The top 40 finishers are honored with an All-American award from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

“I got out not excellent, but well and I worked my way up through the race. I worked my way up from 50-or-60th to the mid-40s all through the last kilometer,” Thomson said. “I wanted more, but overall I’ll take it.”

Thomson sped past 16 runners in the final stretch to finish 44th.

The last time Thomson qualified for the NCAA Cross Country National Championship was in 2013, when he finished 213th with a time of 30:52.30.

“It gives me a lot of confidence. I’ve really stepped up within the last year. I feel more comfortable running up front with (all the) big guys,” Thomson said.

Edward Cheserek won the race, finishing the 10k in 28:45.8. Cheserek is a junior from the University of Oregon.

Even though Oregon had the top finisher, it finished forth overall.

Syracuse finsished first in the team portion after having all of its runners finish in the top 100. University of Colorado came in a close second while Stanford came in a distant third.

Justyn Knight was the fastest runner from Syracuse, finishing forth overall with a time of 29:49.1.

Thirty-one teams qualified for the NCAA National Championship, including Eastern Kentucky University, finishing 17 overall.

The UK men’s cross country team did not qualify for the national champoinship and Thomson was the only member of the team to qualify for the individual race.

Luis Orta was the last UK men’s cross country runner to qualify for the national championship in 2012. This was also the last time the national championship was held in Lousiville.

Orta finished with a time of 30:52.30 coming in 114th place in 2013, 70 places behind Thomson’s 44th place finish in 2015.