FORT DODGE, IOWA —
Vincennes University freshman TaPring Goatee and Robert Murphy took their outstanding first years with the VU Cross Country Teams to another level Saturday when Goatee finished fifth in the women’s race and Murphy 13th in the men’s race at the NJCAA Div. I National Championships in Fort Dodge, IA.
Goatee, a former state champion for Terre Haute North, was named a First-Team NJCAA All-American and Murphy earned Honorable-Mention NJCAA All-American honors. Also, sophomore Whitney Wiist was named a Coaches Association All-American after finishing 26th Saturday.
The Trailblazer women were 11th out of 34 teams and the men finished 13th among 39 squads.
Goatee was in second place at the one-mile split marker in the women’s 5K race. She hit that mark in 5:45.7, following then-leader Bridget Carius of Illinois Central (5:44.7). Goatee dropped back in the pack and then finished strong to post a time of 18:31.3.
“I wanted her to get out front and stay there,” Gafner said of Goatee. “She tends to get out fast and then fade just a little in the second mile before finishing quickly. That’s what she did today; she stormed through that last 800 meters for the fifth place finish.”
Race winner Hannah Maina (18:22.6) led meet host Iowa Central to the team title.