Louisville, Ky. —
Terre Haute had an impact on the Division I cross country scene despite the race being in Louisville this year before returning in 2013.
Terre Haute North graduate Zach Mayhew ended his stellar fall season with the best individual finish for an Indiana University runner at the national meet in 20 years, placing 13th at the 2012 NCAA Championships on Saturday. With that, Mayhew earned All-America honors, the third Hoosier to do so in as many years. Mayhew finished in a time of 29 minutes, 32 seconds in the 10,000-meter race.
Mayhew’s former THN teammate, John Mascari, ran the best race of his young career, placing 60th as a freshman for Indiana State.
Mascari’s time of 30:25.6 was good for a new school record, breaking the 30:38 of Craig Padgett set in 2011. Mascari’s placing was the second best in Sycamore history behind Charlie Warthum, who was 41st in 1970.
Mayhew’s 13th place finish is the best for an Indiana cross country runner at NCAAs since Bob Kennedy won the individual title in 1992. Mayhew ran the 10K course in 29:32, a personal best in a 10K cross-country run for the senior. For the 2012 cross country season, Mayhew was the top finisher for Indiana in every race he competed in with a Big Ten individual title, a second place finish at the NCAA regionals and now he is an All-American.
Mascari went out in the top 60 and was running tough from the get go.
“We went out in about a 4:40 first mile, I knew it would go out fast. At that point I was in the 50’s and I just tried to hold on the best I could,” said Mascari.
He then jockeyed for position and eventually held on for 60th.
“I was only 20 places off of being an All-American, that’s not a bad place to start. I’m only a freshmen so we’ll see how the next few years go,” said Mascari. “Three year more years so I guess the goal next year will be a little bit higher, maybe All-American.
“It was just really cool. All my teammates and a lot of guys from the administration showed up and cheered me on. It’s just all about the experience. Just want to have fun with it. Next year, the goals will be a lot higher.”
Coach John McNichols was very pleased with Mascari’s efforts.
“That was a great run today, when you figure he was 7th in his region and there were 9 regions, 60th place isn’t too bad. We trained John for the NCAA Regional last weekend and his training may be geared more toward peaking this weekend a year from now,” said McNichols.
The race was won individually by Texas Tech Junior Kennedy Kithuka in 28:31.3, while Oklahoma State University were the team champions with 72 points.
The Oregon women’s team took top honors in the women’s 8K race.