Kansas City, Mo.–Jamal Boma (Sr., Des Moines, Iowa, Business Management and Physical Education) did not fold under the pressure of continuing his record-breaking season as he led the William Penn cross country teams at the Heart of America Athletic Conference Championships Saturday.
Boma was the first runner across the finish line in the 112-person men’s 8K race with a time of 25:46.66. He was just over six seconds faster than runner-up Ulysses Orozco of Missouri Valley. It is the first conference crown for WPU since Travis Sauer took home the Midwest Classic Conference title in 2004.
The senior, who won his third meet title of the season Saturday, now qualifies for the NAIA National Championships on November 19 in Elsah, Ill.
His effort helped the Statesmen to sixth place out of 13 teams with 180 points. #9 Missouri Valley easily won the team title with 34 points, while MidAmerica Nazarene earned the second automatic bid to nationals by winning the tiebreaker over Baker; both teams had 87 points, but MNU’s sixth finisher was higher than BU’s.
Payton Busch (Sr., Centerville, Iowa, Secondary Education) was also strong in his collegiate finale by placing 16th at 27:09.06. He was the ninth-best individual finisher not from a qualifying team, but unfortunately needed to place three spots higher to join Boma at nationals.
Garrett Heckman (Jr., New Virginia, Iowa, Mechanical Engineering) was 39th in a time of 28:55.14, while Zack Johnson (Jr., Decatur, Ill., Mechanical Engineering), who also completed his Statesmen career (he will enroll at Iowa State next year as part of the 3+2 engineering program), crossed the line in a time of 29:59.83 to finish 63rd.
Terry Jackson (Fr., Houston, Alaska, Biology) wrapped up the varsity scoring in 80th place (31:02.16). George Ball (Fr., Cambridge, England, Physical Education), in 82nd at 31:16.20, and Cameron Shade (Fr., Riverdale, Ga., Sociology), in 86th (31:32.98), also competed for the navy and gold.
The WPU women, behind a 38th-place finish by Guadalupe Gonzalez (Jr., Houston, Texas, Exercise Science), were 13th out of 14 teams with 318 points. Gonzalez completed the 5K course with a time of 20:07.69.
Deja Lewis (Sr., Spring, Texas, Psychology) was next, finishing 55th out of 113 runners in a time of 20:47.62, while Alexys Devlin (Jr., Davenport, Iowa, Physical Education) was 84th (22:37.89). Bree’Anna Lee (Fr., Broken Arrow, Okla., Biology), in 91st at 23:20.31, and Arianna Davis (Jr., New Sharon, Iowa, Biology), in 97th at 24:27.07, completed the team scoring. Rachel Surbaugh (Fr., Knoxville, Iowa, Biology) (113th, 29:20.14) raced Saturday as well.
Story provided by Wade Steinlage