Tuscaloosa, AL – Austin Peay State University men’s cross-country team got its first taste of regional competition at Friday’s NCAA South Regional, hosted by Alabama at Harry Pritchett Running Park. The Govs finished 26th as a squad with a 684 aggregate score.
“I’m very pleased with the men,” said head coach Doug Molnar. “We were the only team out there that had five freshmen scoring for us. I think it really showed the guys what they’re capable of doing.”
Freshman Martin Rejman led the way for Austin Peay, as he has since the season’s second race. The native of the Czech Republic paced Austin Peay with a 32:43.85 mark in the 10-kilometer race, finishing 115th in the 173-runner field. Rejman’s mark broke Tim Hall’s freshman record in the 10K by nearly 40 seconds; Hall was 75th at Vanderbilt in 2005 with a 33:22.23 mark.
Freshmen Daniel Hamm (33:32.22, 136th) and Kyle Harmon (33:33.55, 137th) battled one another throughout the race, with Hamm pulling away down the stretch to become the second Gov across the line.
“I think that pack mentality helped as the race went along,” Molnar said. “Kyle and Daniel especially worked well together.”
Freshmen Hunter Guthrie (33:55.58, 146th) and Nathan Sparks (34:46.25, 157th) posted countable scores for the Govs in their first regional attempts. Sophomore Cory Nwaiji (36:08.52, 167th) also competed for Austin Peay.
“Just like in the women’s race, I think we were a little too conservative in the beginning,” Molnar said. “We were really strong in the last half of the race. It will be something to build on for next season.”