MADISON, Wis. —
Indiana State sophomore cross country runner John Mascari made history when he became the Sycamores’ first ever individual NCAA Regional champion during the Great Lakes Regional at Wisconsin on Friday.
ISU’s men’s team placed 16th overall, but Mascari’s win was a major highlight for the Sycamores.
“The race went out pretty controlled and I just tried to hang with the front pack as long as I can,” said Mascari. “[It] definitely was a tough race today, I remember it being as hard as it was last year. 500 meters to go I was able to pull it off somehow, someway.”
Mascari, a Terre Haute native, set the ISU school record at 10,000 meters with his winning time of 30 minutes, 5 seconds. It was also the course record at the University of Wisconsin.
Mascari quickly made his way to the front of the race, racing among the top five for the first half. He took the lead around 8,000 meters. Once Mascari took the lead, he was challenged by Matt McClintock of Purdue.
The pair battled over the final 1,000 meters as they quickly pulled away from the field. Their lead increasingly grew as the reached the final stretch, it was at that point that Mascari put in one final surge that took him across the line in first.
Michigan won the team title with 70 points, followed by Wisconsin in second with 73 points.
After Mascari, came sophomore Taylor Head in 63rd with a time of 31:58. Freshman Andrew Kump (102nd, 33:04), freshman David Timlin (120th, 33:20), junior Tristan Selby (161st, 34:19), junior Bryan Horsman (165th, 34:26) and Gabe Ocasio (177th, 34:50) rounded out ISU’s runners.
ISU men’s coach John McNichols called Mascari’s performance “historic”, but was disappointed with the overall take.
“The region this year we had high points and low points,” McNichols said. “The team aspect is important and we were aiming to get the highest possible place. We definitely had a little bit of a let down, but we’ve learned what to expect from Indiana State cross country. I guess we could chalk it up to rebuilding, as we have a young team.”
Next up for Mascari will be the NCAA National Cross Country Championships at LaVern Gibson Course on Nov. 23.