Garret Ehlers

Morningside College finished 12th in a 32-team field at the NAIA Men’s Cross Country National Championship held Saturday at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, Kan.

Morningside had 329 points finishing just nine points out of 11th place behind Eastern Oregon University. It was the highest team placing ever for the Mustangs at the NAIA National Championship. Morningside finished 23rd at last year’s national meet when it qualified as a team for the first time in school history.

Garret Ehlers, a senior from Ida Grove, Iowa, was the Mustangs’ top individual finisher. Ehlers ran the 8k course in a time of 25:07.04 to finish 26th in a field of 313 runners. The 26th place finish made him a NAIA All-American, becoming the first Morningside men’s cross country runner in history to achieve that status.

The Mustangs had three other runners finish in the top 100. Jay Welp, a junior from Conrad, Iowa, finished 68th with a time of 25:38.42; Mark Abrams, a sophomore from Glenwood, Iowa, finished 84th with a time of 25:45.82; and Alex DeVries, a freshman from Merrill, Iowa, finished 97th with a time of 25:51.73.

Morningside’s other competitors at the national meet were Taylor Kube, a senior from Crofton, Iowa, who finished 163rd with a time of 26:24.26; Dan Larscheid, a junior from Bondurant, Iowa, who finished 213th with a time of 26:58.50; and Jacob Willey, a sophomore from Onawa, Iowa, who finished 264th with a time of 27:38.15.