Cross country kicks into gear

Tulsa, Okla. (September 4, 2010) — The JBU men’s and women’s program officially ended their 23 year hiatus on Saturday as both teams competed in the University of Tulsa’s Hurricane Festival on Saturday morning.

The women finished fifth out of six teams, while the men finished in sixth in the event consisting of NCAA Division I schools Oklahoma State, Tulsa, Oral Roberts, and NAIA foe Oklahoma Wesleyan.

“I’m pleased with how we did today,” said head coach Matt Pearson. “This is our first season in 23 years and we’re just getting started. This is the beginning of figuring out where we are at.”

Freshman Melissa Roth finished first for JBU and 23rd overall in the 2-mile in a time of 12:56, and freshman Valerie Kliewer finished 2nd for JBU and 25th overall in a time of 13:13.

On the men’s side, senior Zach Ray and sophomore Sam Young finished 28th and 29th after finishing the four-mile run with times of 23:00 and 23:07 respectively. Junior Derek Honcoop finished 35th with a time of 24:57.

“I think we did pretty well today with everything considered – this being our first year back”, said Honcoop. “It was great getting a team together and being able to get out there and give our best performance. For the most part, everyone ran what they wanted to run in terms of hitting their splits.”

Both teams will be back in action on Friday when they head to Wichita, Kan. to compete in the Friends University Invitational.