TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Sophomore John Mascari continued to make history at Indiana State as he added an All-American honor to his already impressive resume.
“This feels amazing,” said Mascari. “I am so surprised about the outcome. This means everything to me that my 25 weeks of nothing but training were worth it.”
Mascari placed 32nd overall at the NCAA Cross Country Championships out of 253 of the best runners in the nation. Mascari’s time was 30:38.5 for the race, which was shortened from 10,000 meters to about 9,880 meters due to flooding at the original starting line area.
“I’m just so proud of John, it was a great race on his part,” said McNichols. “I’m very proud of what he has been able to do this season at Indiana State. He has represented our program well and while we have had many runners qualify and run well at nationals, this is the best. I’m proud and excited about what he has done and what he did today.”
Mascari took to the front pack early in the race, as he was within striking distance of the leaders. As the leaders moved Mascari faded slightly around halfway. It wouldn’t last for long though, as Mascari was able to maintain his composure and make a great push to the line for an All-American spot.
"John got out very well," said McNichols. "I think part of that was his lane position as much as anything. He was forced out by the pack, but he had great footing where he was running. From that position he got to certain parts of the course that were rough forced him to run through the muck. I think that wore on him a bit and he had a side stitch. At one point I saw him in the top 10, then next time I saw him he was in 40th. That was a concern, but I know how strong he is and even then I wasn't even worried. He moved back up well and ran a really tough 8k to the finish. That worked him into a great position, before the final straightaway."
Edward Cheserek of Oregon won the national championship in a time of 29:41.1 over pre-race favorite Kennedy Kithunka of Texas Tech.
The University of Colorado won the team title with 149 points over Northern Arizona with 169 points. Third was Oklahoma State with 230 points, fourth was BYU with 267 points, and Oregon rounded out the top five with 274 points.
Mascari becomes the first Sycamore to earn All-American honors and was the highest placing Sycamore at the NCAA championships in history.
While the meet concludes the 2013 cross country season, the 2014 indoor track season will begin December 6 at Eastern Illinois.