FLORENCE, Ala.--The Cumberland men's cross country team started the season off strong with a fifth-place finish at the North Alabama XC Invitational hosted by the University of North Alabama this morning in their first meet of the season.
Cumberland freshman Nickson Kipkosgei set a new school record by 50 seconds finishing in third place individually with a time 24:47.1 in the 8K race.
Denis Kipligat took 29th place individually posting a time 25:56.6. The time was his personal best and the third-fastest 8K in school history. The two finished one and two amongst NAIA competitors in the field.
Freshman Ethan Rhoden finished in 39th place after running the course in 26:40.3 for his best time at Cumberland while senior Joel Barlow finished 11 seconds later in 48th place.
Luke Freeman took 60th place with a 27:34.4 and Aiden Crockett and Jacob Harzbecker finished 66 and 67 in the race. The race was Harzbecker's first of his collegiate career. Andrew Cullins was the last Phoenix to finish in 69th place.
Cumberland had the highest finish amongst NAIA schools in the event. Phoenix graduate assistant Wesley Meyer ran unattached and was the individual winner of the race.
The Phoenix will be in action next Friday at the Ray Bullock Invitational in Upland, Indiana.