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Vincennes University earns national runner-up finish in NJCAA Men’s Half Marathon, Women place 8th

EL PASO, Texas –The Vincennes University men's team had a program best runner-up finish at the NJCAA Half Marathon Championship on Saturday. VU's top three runners capped off a sensational cross country season by all finishing in the top nine.

VU Men’s Performers

The national runner-up Trailblazers were led by sophomore Milan Todorovic (Belgrade, Serbia) in sixth place in 1:09:56 earning NJCAA All-American honors. Freshman Maxwel Kiplagat (Iten, Kenya) was seventh in 1:10:19 and sophomore Morne Scharnick (Gauteng, South Africa) was ninth in 1:12:08.  Kiplagat and Scharnick both earned Coaches Association All-American honors.

Other competitors for the Trailblazer men were freshman Manamanya Opiew (Indianapolis, Ind.) in 25th place in 1:20:21 and sophomore Franklin Sanders (North Vernon, Ind.) 44th in 1:29:44.

Sophomore Logan Busz (Whitley, Ind.) placed 14th among unattached male runners in 1:27.04.

Front row - (L-R) VU Head Coach Chris Gafner and VU runners Franklin Sanders, Maxwel Kiplagat, Milan Todorovic, Morne Scharnick and Logan Busz. Second row - VU runner Manamanya Opiew.


Photo: VU Men's Half Marathon Team (L-R, Front Row - Head Coach Chris Gafner, Franklin Sanders, Maxwel Kiplagat, Milan Todorovic, Morne Scharnick and Logan Busz. Second row - Manamaya Opiew.)

VU Coach Chris Gafner says. . .

"We have had our eye on the Half Marathon on the men's side as a competition that we could really find team success. I am so proud of the way we competed. We had a plan going in and we executed that plan exactly. I'm really glad to see these men get the recognition that they really deserve. They are one of the hardest working and coachable groups I have ever worked with."

VU Women’s Performers

The women's team overcame struggles with injuries and inexperience to finish eighth at the NJCAA Half Marathon Championships. The women were led by freshman Kyra Young (Mishawaka, Ind.) in 25th place in 1:38:29. Also competing for the Trailblazers were freshman Meagan Moreno (Morton, Ill.) 28th in 1:39:24 and sophomore Kaylee Lange (Vincennes, Ind.) 33rd in 1:48:29.

VU Coach Chris Gafner says. . .

"The women's team struggled with some injuries and a lack of experience with the event. I'm proud that they were able to overcome adversity and gut their way to the finish. Kyra had a very nice race and I think that will give her some confidence heading into the track season. Now we will take some time to get healed up before we start back into track training.”

NJCAA Half Marathon Championship Results

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Vincennes University Newsroom
Vincennes University Trailblazer Athletics

MARCIA MARTINEZ, Sports Information Director & University Life Reporter

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VINCENNES UNIVERSITY, Department of University Relations,

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The Vincennes University Athletic Department hosts Play4Kay and raises donations for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund annually. VU Women’s Basketball Coach and Athletic Director Harry Meeks has a special connection to the late Yow, who was the longtime coach at North Carolina State. He had the pleasure of meeting her while he was an assistant coach at Western Carolina University. This left a lasting impression on him and made this cause important to him and the Trailblazers.

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