OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Fiona Masai gave the Butler cross country teams an individual championship at the Jayhawk Conference/Region VI meet on Saturday at Johnson County Community College.
Masai literally ran away from the field from the start, eventually winning the race by a 15-second margin on the 5k course. Her finishing time of 18:44 was an outstanding time on the Johnson County course. Masai becomes the first Lady Grizzly to win the Region VI title 2009.
In addition to Masai, Abiane Collymore earned all-conference and all-region honors by placing 13th individually. Sophomore Aadrian McCollum ran the best race of her career, cutting 30 seconds off her previous best time and finishing 60th overall.
Even with those efforts, however, Butler could not extend its streak of consecutive conference championships. Butler had won 12 years in a row dating back to 2000, but this year finished fourth in the conference. The ladies were eighth in the Region VI standings.
The Butler men also had an outstanding individual performance to lead the way, as Cesar Sanabria finished fifth overall in a time of 25:36 over the 8k course.
Israel Mendoza led the rest of the Butler runners, placing 35th in 27:25 as he set his collegiate PR. Dale Nuckolls (40th in 27:34), Taylor Parker (50th in 27:49) and Drake Brown (52nd in 27:51) were Butler's five scoring runners.
Like the women, the Butler men also finished fourth in the conference standings and were eighth overall in the region.
With their top 10 finishes, Fiona Masai and Cesar Sanabria have advanced on to represent Butler at the NJCAA Championships on Nov. 10 in Ida, Ill.