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Laney helps SOU place third at nationals

Junior David Laney earned a top-10 finish and helped the Southern Oregon men to their best finish ever at Saturday's NAIA Cross Country National Championships in Vancouver, Wash.

Southern Oregon, ranked No. 1 coming into the national championships, finished third with 188 points. Two-time defending national champion and second-ranked Malone (Ohio) won the team race with 44 points and Concordia (Neb.) finished second with 166 points. Malone had four runners finish among the top 12 and five in the top 18.

SOU's third-place finish bests last year's fourth-place effort at nationals as the best finish in school history.

"Nobody was going to beat Malone today," SOU head coach Brent Ericksen said. "We got a little lost and didn't run together and in a race that big it's hard to make up for that. But, I couldn't be happier. We finished one position better than last year and we return everybody."

Laney finished seventh in the individual race, the second-best finish ever by a Raiders cross country runner at the nationals. Laney picked up All-American honors with his finish of 25 minutes, 22 seconds. Oklahoma Christian's Silas Kisorio won the men's race in 24:23.

"David was back in the group for most of the race and then just turned it on," Ericksen said. "It was a very physical race and not a lot of room to run."

Dennis McCaffrey just missed out on All-American honors, finishing 31st in 25:51. Andrew Milne finished 50th with a time of 26:07, while Ryan Sorenson finished 59th (26:13), Ryan Ghelfi finished 86th (26:26), Hector Aleman finished 141st (26:51) and Zach Elliott finished 179th (27:15).

On the women's side, SOU freshman Seena Frantz earned All-American honors with a time of 18:47. Shorter's Justyna Mudy won the individual race with a time of 17:30.

"Seena ran an incredible race," Ericksen said. "To run that well as a freshman at nationals without our team running with you is very impressive."