Western Washington University's Dak Riek placed 37th to earn All-America honors at the NCAA Division II National Cross Country Championships held Saturday, Nov. 17, in Joplin, Mo.
The Vikings, who were making their sixth straight trip to nationals, finished a disappointing 21st in the 32-team men's field. They entered the meet ranked 10th in the Top 25 poll.
The placing snapped a string of four WWU top 10 finishes and was its lowest of the six-year national run. The Vikings were 10th in 2011, ninth in 2010, fourth in 2009, 10th in 2008 and 11th in 2007.
Riek, who placed 50th at nationals last year, completed the 10-kilometer course in 30:20.9.
"He was running with a bad Achilles, but he ran like a warrior," WWU coach Pee Wee Halsell said in a news release of Riek. "He was probably around 100th after the first mile, but he moved up from there. He really wanted to be among the top 40 and be an All-American and he did it."
"Besides Dak, there were just a few glimmers in there for us. We went out and didn't move up and no one came back to us. It was not what we wanted, but we'll be back next year."
Tyler Cannon placed 126th (31:46.8) for the Vikings. Tanner Boyd was 143rd (31:57.1), Chip Jackson 155th (32:05.2), Kyle Johnson 166th (32:15.1) and Tabor Reedy 186th (32:35.8).