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Cross Country's Hess finshes season at NCAA Championships
Monday, November 24, 2014

Cross Country's Hess finshes season at NCAA Championships

Men's cross country runner Zakk Hess (Clyde, N.Y./North Rose-Wolcott) represented Fredonia on Saturday in the NCAA Division III men's cross country championship, finishing 133rd in a field of 280 runners, crossing the finish line with a time of 25:33.9.

After the first 6,500 meters of the 8,000-meter race, Hess was in 168th place.The final 1,500 meters saw him move past 38 other runners into 133rd. With cold and wet conditions, slower times were generally expected across the board, but that wasn't the case Saturday morning.

"The race ended up being a lot faster than we thought it was going to be," head cross country coach Tom Wilson said after the race. "We stuck to our game plan, but the course was faster and muddier than we had anticipated."

Hess was the fourth runner to cross the finish line from the SUNYAC conference. Nick Marcantonio (Cortland – 24:31.7) finished 23rd, Jarred Iacovelli (Cortland – 24:47.3) finished 43rd, and Cohen Miles-Rath (Geneseo – 25:22.2), at 101st, were the other top SUNYAC finishers.

A total of 32 teams are invited to compete in the NCAA meet, with the remaining runners qualifying from their respective regions. The first seven athletes from each region who are not part of a qualifying team are selected to participate in the championship. Hess was the only individual runner qualifying to compete from the SUNYAC conference.

With a season of eligibility remaining, coach Wilson expects Hess to continue progressing into the team's indoor season.

"Zakk took his senior season right to the NCAA Championship and did a great job," he said. "He has a 3.9 GPA and will certainly be an Academic All-American. He's matured throughout his college career and we've very optimistic about the upcoming indoor season."

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