The Shippensburg University cross country team notched a fourth-place team finish on Saturday at the 2021 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Atlantic Region Championships.
The team missed out on an automatic national championship bid, but junior Chayce Macknair and sophomore Hayden Hunt each earned individual qualifications for the national championships thanks to their finishes.
SU ran their first 10K since the 2019 regional championships and only two of their seven runners had ever run a collegiate cross country 10K.
Charleston ran away with the team championship after posting 22 points, with runners finishing 2-3-4-5-8.
The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) champion, Edinboro University finished in second place with all their runners placing 21st or better to earn All-Region accolades.
The Raiders fought with Concord University for the third spot, but were ultimately bested by the Mountain Lions who finished with 98 points and the individual champion. SU scored 116 points.
Shippensburg ran in lockstep for the entire race and Macknair and Hunt gained separation around the 8K mark of the race. They finished ninth and tenth separated by one second, Macknair at 31:21 and Hunt and 31:22.
Their performances are the first All-Region honors for SU since 2018. Macknair improved upon his 2019 regional time by 90 seconds.
Fellow sophomores Aiden Gonder and Ian Sherlock finished within four seconds of each other at 32:32 and 32:36. Junior Drew Dailey finished in between them at 32:34, for places of 32nd, 33rd and 35th.
Freshman Jacob Mavretic and junior Kevin Wagner finished in 41st and 42nd place with times of 32:50 and 32:53.
Macknair and Hunt earned their NCAA National Championship qualifications by their status as the Top 2 runners from a non-automatic qualifying school.
This is the first time since 2012 that a Raider has individually qualified for the NCAA National Championships without their teammates.
The NCAA National Championships will be held on Nov. 20,2021 at Abbey Golf Course in Tampa, Florida. They will be hosted by Saint Leo.