Franklin, Da Silva lead VU Cross Country at National Meet with All-American Honors - Athletics

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Franklin, Da Silva lead VU Cross Country at National Meet with All-American Honors

EL DORADO,KS – On a perfect day for Cross Country at Prarie Trails Golf Course in El, Dorado Kansas, two Vincennes University Cross Country athletes managed to achieve All-American honors, and the Men’s Cross Country team achieved the best finish in team history since the move to Division I.

The Women’s race tore out in a very fast start as the runners made their way around the up and down golf course of the host school Butler Community College.  Sophomore Anais Da Silva got out well, settled in to the chase pack, and raced her way to a 24th place finish, earning her All-American honors. Fellow Vincennes harrier, Sophomore Janeth Magana narrowly missed also earning All-American honors by finishing 43rd.

The Men’s race was very similar to the women’s race. A pack of runners led by the eventual race winner Gilbert Kigen of Central Arizona took the race out in a very brisk first kilometer. Freshman Evan Franklin patiently positioned himself a few packs back of the leaders, and went to work. Franklin would move well throughout the race, and eventually finish with a personal best time of 25:41, a 16th place finish, and earn All-American Honors. Sophomore Jose Cano Pallares just missed joining Franklin in earning All-American honors as he finished 41st in 26:27.

After the race Chris Gafner was very upbeat about the performance of his runners: “It was a hard fought meet. The Men’s 12th place finish was the best for the program since it went division one in 2004. Evan ran an exceptional race from beginning to end. Going in I was hoping for him to be top 25, so finishing 16th was excellent.”

The Vincennes University Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams finished 12th, and 16th respectively at the National Meet. The Women’s team managed to climb to as high as 7th in the national polls this season, and the men as high as 8th after their Region 12 Title.

Coach Gafner beamed about how much fun this year had been, how excited he was for the group of athletes he has worked with all fall. “It has been an excellent year for both programs. We came into this meet very young. The most exciting thing is that we will be in a great position to improve next year as well”.


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