CLINTON, MS (roadrunners.com) — Dalton State claimed its first-ever SSAC Men's Cross Country Championship title Friday at Choctaw Trails in Clinton, Miss. The Roadrunners, who were narrow favorites in the SSAC Men's Cross Country Coaches' Preseason Poll, ran a combined 8-kilometer time of 2:13:45 to best the eight-team field.
Dalton State accumulated 25 points, as each member of its scoring five earned All-Conference honors—placing second, third, fifth, seventh and eighth—respectively.
Bethel (Tenn.) finished as the runner-up with 71 points and a combined time of 2:21:27, narrowly topping William Carey (Miss.)—which actually ran a faster combined time of 2:20:48, but tallied 76 points. Both Bethel and William Carey had a trio of All-Conference honorees.
Blue Mountain (Miss.) (101 points) and Mobile (Ala.) (125 points) rounded out the top five teams.
With an 8-kilometer time of 24:46, Geoffrey Kipchumba of William Carey paced the 58-runner field to earn the individual title, crossing the finish line 1:10 faster than his nearest competitor.
Spencer Head of Dalton State (25:56), Paul Patterson of Dalton State (26:28), Matthew Viveiros of Bethel (26:49) and Paul Schupp of Dalton State (26:50) rounded out the top five individuals.
Other Roadrunner All Conference Runners were Brody Cook (7th - 27:14), Parker Cook (8th - 27:15), Dylan Smith (11th - 27:43), Cole Thornton (15th – 28:14), Jacob Robinson (17th – 28:18) and DaCosta Smith (18th – 28:21).
Dalton State's Saddoth Fraire finished 30th with a time of 29:59.
Roadrunners on the SSAC All Academic Team are Brody and Parker Cook, Paul Patterson, Spencer Head, Saddoth Fraire, Roger Bramlett and Dylan Smith are on the All Academic Team.
"The guys had a dominating performance," said Men's Co-Coach Andy Meyer. "Five of the top seven is remarkable. It speaks to the dedication, motivation and talent of these young men. They didn't let the horrid conditions undermine their determination."
Dalton State men will compete on November 21st at the NAIA National Meet In Charlotte, NC. Roadrunner Co-Coaches Andy Meyer and Margie Bruner were named as conference Co-Coaches of the Year.