The York College men's and women's cross country teams competed at the MCAC Conference Championships on Saturday and turned heads, as usual. The team traveled to Haskell University's campus in Lawrence, Kan., ready to show what they had been working for all season.
The women's team entered the competition seeded at 5th place. Sabrina Austin and Paige Horton (SO/Centralia, Mo) ran personal bests, beating their previous records by more than two minutes. The team ran well enough to clinch a 3rd place finish.
Senior Morgan DeBoer (SR/Council Bluffs, Iowa), who had been the leading runner throughout the season for the Panthers, was able to run a personal best, coming in at 19:59. This time was able to qualify her as an individual for the NAIA National Championship November 22, also in Lawrence. She placed fourth in the race over all.
The men's team came into the race seeded first in the conference, with heavy competition coming from College of the Ozarks. The men took the championship with first place after a very successful season.
There were several outstanding accomplishments on the men's team at the meet: Matt Gastineau came in first place with a time of 26:58, and was named MCAC conference Runner of the Year; Caleb Magner (FR/York, Ne) had an outstanding race and was named MCAC Freshman Runner of the Year; Jeff Austin, Kyle Bottom (SR/Imperial, Neb), Tyler Cox (SR/Centennial, Colo), Matt Gastineau, and Jake Hasenauer (SR/North Platte, Neb) were also named MCAC scholar athletes. Many of the team earned a personal best or season best at the meet. All of these accomplishments allowed the men's team to qualify as a whole for the NAIA National Championship.
Head Coach Justin Carver was again named MCAC Men's Coach of the Year. This award is given out every year at both Cross Country and Track and Field conference championship. This was the 8th time that Coach Carver has been honored with this award for his success in both men's and women's cross country, and track and field.
"This cross country season has been an honor to coach," says Carver. "You will not find a better group of men and women, who display character, faith, and hard work, both on and off the field….This is a very special team and holds a very special place in my heart. God is good and living in our student athletes."