Preview video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7YPxeKQnsQ
2015 Heart Finish:8th out of 12
Letterwinners returning/lost: 4/5
Payton Busch Sr. Centerville, Iowa
(Letterwinner, season-best 8K 27:56)
Zack Johnson Jr. Decatur, Ill.
(Letterwinner, season-best 8K 28:43)
Garrett Heckman Jr. New Virginia, Iowa
(Letterwinner, season-best 8K 28:18)
Cameron Shade Fr. Riverdale, Ga.
(Redshirted in 2015)
(Two-time national qualifier)
Jamal Boma Sr. Des Moines, Iowa
Filmon Bayene Fr. Houston, Texas
Mykael Holliman Fr. Rockford, Ill.
Terry Jackson Fr. Houston, Alaska
Slowly but surely, the Statesmen men’s cross country team is building a contender and the program will look to take another step towards the top in 2016.
William Penn, headed by Sean Gosewisch, finished a disappointing eighth at last year’s Heart of America Athletic Conference Championships, but strength is back, including top returner Payton Busch (Sr., Centerville, Iowa, Secondary Education). The Statesmen will unfortunately have to replace two-time national qualifier Ochaung Akway, which Gosewisch feels is possible with talented newcomer Jamal Boma (Sr., Des Moines, Iowa).
Busch’s top 8K time was 27:56; he finished as high as sixth at the Grand View Invitational. He will be flanked by two-time letterwinners Zack Johnson (Jr., Decatur, Ill., Mechanical Engineering) and Garrett Heckman (Jr., New Virginia, Iowa, Mechanical Engineering). They were an interchangeable 3-4 last fall with Johnson posting a top time of 28:43 and Heckman at 28:18.
Cameron Shade (Fr., Riverdale, Ga., Sociology) redshirted a year ago and should be in the mix, while Jeremy Mooney (Sr., Clinton, Iowa, Physical Education) provides the squad with a lot of past experience. Mooney’s fastest 8K finish is 29:34.
A handful of newcomers will also vie for spots in the top seven, including Filmon Beyene (Fr., Houston, Texas), Mykael Holliman (Fr., Rockford, Ill.), Terry Jackson (Fr., Houston, Alaska, Biology), Robert Rosebud (Fr., Southaven, Miss., Physical Education), and David Williams (Fr., Victor, Iowa, Secondary Education).
The 2016 schedule is identical to 2015 with the Augustana Twilight again serving as the opener on September 2. The Heart Championships will be hosted by Mount Mercy, therefore basically making the NAIA Seminole Valley Stampede on October 22 a preview meet. Benedictine and Mount Mercy are favored to be at the top of the standings in November.
Story provided by Wade Steinlage