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Ngetich sixth at Nationals, first at Regionals

by Chris Alcantara, associate editor

Hawai‘i Pacific University cross country runner William Ngetich captured the men’s 10-kilometer race and Nina Christensen came in a close second in the women's race at the NCAA Division II West Region Championship at Prado Regional Park in Pomona, Calif. Nov. 8.

 

Ngetich finished first out of 116 runners in 31:40.5 to claim his fifth individual meet title of the season. Christensen ran to a hard-faught second place out of 154 runners with a time 21:51.

Ngetich crossed the finish-line eight seconds in front of Cal State-Chico’s Tyler Graff who finished second. The 10k course (approx 6.2 miles) consisted of rolling grass hills and was run in 80 degree weather and 25-30 mph “Santa Ana” winds.

With the victory, Ngetich was named the West Region Cross Country Male Athlete of the Year and earned one of two “individuals from non-qualifying teams” spots to advance to the NCAA II National Championship held at St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, N.C. Saturday, Nov. 22. Christensen, a staple at nationals, earned her fourth straight trip to the elite race.

“ Awards are great and all,” said Ngetich. “But all they really do is put pressure on me to perform to a certain level.”

Christensen, a two-time All-American, also earned a berth to the nationals with her impressive performance at regionals.

They represented the Sea Warriors well in North Carolina Nov.22, with Ngetich claiming a strong sixth place finish (out of 176) and Christensen coming in at seventh (out of 189) in each of their respective National Championship races.

“ Going to nationals by yourself is good and bad,” said Ngetich. "There is no team support to motivate, but there is also nothing really to worry about. You just hve to depend on yourself.”

 

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