LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jovan Newsum (Glendale Heights, Ill.) had a simple goal heading into his final collegiate cross country meet—make his last race his best race.
And the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota senior did just that—and more.
Newsum, competing in his second NCAA Division III Cross Country National Championships, turned in the best eight-kilometer performance of his career—and the fastest time in program history—crossing the finish line in 24:14.0 to place 66th out of the field of nearly 280 competitors.
“I knew right from the beginning that the race was going to go out fast—much faster than conference or regionals—I just had to go with the flow, try and stay relaxed and composed, and push through it,” said Newsum, who now holds the top four fastest times in program history—including a sixth-place time of 25:38 at this year’s NCAA Central Regional, and a then-school-record 25:24 at the 2014 national championships. “I was pretty happy with the (end) result—a new school record in my final race, I can’t ask for much more than that.
“I’m so thankful for these last four years—it’s been a real blessing,” Newsum added. “I can’t thank Coach (Ward) Berndt, my teammates—and all the Saint Mary’s community—for their support, not just today, but over my entire career.”
North Central (Ill.) won the men’s team title, finishing with 60 points to easily outdistance runner-up SUNY-Geneseo (204). UW-Eau Claire was third (216), followed by Washington (Mo.) University (216) and CMS (251).
UW-Platteville’s Ian LaMere won the individual champion, touring the 8K course in 23:40.4 to edge Widener’s Ernie Pitone, who was second in 24:09.0. Tufts’ Tim Nichols was third (24:09.7), with SUNY-Geneseo’s Isaac Gacria-Cassani (24:18.0) and Allegheny’s Dan Cheung (24.18.9) rounding out the top five