FOREST CITY, Iowa -- Cole Wagner and Chris Casart each turned in top 10 finishes en route to earning all-NSAA honors to lead the Bellevue University men's cross country team to a fourth place finish at the North Star Athletic Association Championship on Friday.
Location: Forest City, Iowa
Course: Bear Creek Golf Club
Weather: Stiff north breeze, temperatures in the 20's
Course Conditions: Frozen, snow-covered terrain
Bellevue finished fourth on the day, improving upon a fifth place finish in 2018.
As was the case last season, Cole Wagner finished just one spot shy of qualifying for the NAIA National Championship meet, as he was fifth among runners not on the championship team.
Wagner finished eighth in a time of 27:06.1 with Chris Casart finishing immediately behind him in ninth place with a time of 27:13.7. For their efforts, both runners earned NSAA all-conference honors.
Dakota State, led by individual champion Braden Curnow and second place finisher Max Cruse, won the team title for a second year in a row with a score of 29 points, easily defeating Viterbo (53 points).
In addition to Wagner and Casart, Aaron Newton also earned conference recognition as he was named BU's Champion of Character.
Coach Craig Christians:
"Cole Wagner and Chris Casart ran very inspired races in some really tough conditions. The gap from the qualifying positions back to where they were was just too wide to close but they certainly gave it a shot. Cole was 16th at the 1K mark and moved to eighth so he was obviously working very hard and passing people. Chris was passing people, too."
"Aaron Newton made great improvements from last season and our freshmen – Edrei Murillo and Salah Hilowle – have a season under their belts so I feel good about what we've got coming back for next season."
The NSAA Championships marked the end to the 2019 BU Men's Cross Country season. Athletes will begin preparations for the spring outdoor track season.