ULM Men Finish as Top Team in Louisiana at NCAA Regional Championships
Of the seven in-state programs to compete at NCAA Regional Championships, the Warhawks clocked in first in front of LSU, Tulane, Southeastern Louisiana, UL-Lafayette, La. Tech and New Orleans. ULM also beat out Sun Belt Conference foes Arkansas State and Texas State.
“We came here wanting to finish the season on a high-note and we accomplished that. We ran really well and I was pleased with our performance. We ran the way we should,” said ULM cross country coach Karoly Varga.
Junior Silah Chumba came in as ULM’s top finisher in the 10K race at 32:07.05 which placed 54th. Chumba sat in 86th at the halfway point before making his move in the second half. The Eldoret, Kenya native continues to get stronger as he improved upon his 2012 time of 32:24.3 and 2011 score of 33:13.7.
Fellow junior Hillary Kirwa followed with a 71st-place finish at 32:33.7 and led ULM at the halfway point in 78th.
Freshmen Vinnie Van Puvelde and Dusan Makevic recorded top-100 finishes of 33:04.3 and 33:17.9, respectively. Freshman Brent Turner rounded the Warhawks out at 34:47.0.
“The goal coming in was to gain experience for the future, especially because three of our five runners are freshmen. I told them coming in that there was no pressure today and I just wanted everyone to run their hardest. We should enjoy all the work that we’ve put in and we are pleased with the results,” said Varga.
Arkansas and Texas finished as the top-two teams at the South Central Region and earned automatic bids to the NCAA Championships.
The Warhawks will turn their attention to the 2014 track & field season. The indoor season begins on Jan. 17 at the Texas A&M-Texas Invitational in College Station, Texas.
Men’s Individual Results - 10K (6.21 miles)
54. Silah Chumba, 32:07.5 (5:11 mile pace)
71. Hillary Kirwa, 32:33.7 (5:15 mile pace)
87. Vinnie Van Puyvelde, 33:04.3 (5:20 mile pace)
96. Dusan Makevic, 33:17.9 (5:22 mile pace)
130. Brent Turner, 34:47.0 (5:36 mile pace)