ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. – Union College senior Brandon Kibert posted a fourth-place finish at the NAIA Region XII/Appalachian Athletic Conference Cross Country Championship Saturday held at Sycamore Shoals State Park to earn his first trip to the NAIA Cross Country National Championship. The Bulldogs also picked up a third place finish in the Appalachian Athletic Conference standings with a sixth-place finish in Region XII.
Kibert (Tazewell, Tenn.) covered the 8k course with a time of 26 minutes and 45 seconds. He will now prepare for the NAIA Cross Country National Championship in Kenosha, Wis. on November 17. Kibert is also the first Bulldog to reach the NAIA Cross Country National Championship since Union reinstated the program in 2004. He also earned All-AAC and All-Region XII honors.
"I am happy to earn this trip to nationals and it will be agreat way to conclude my cross country career at Union," Kibert said. "It was a good race todayfor usas well with a third place finish in the conference."
Union placed three other runners in the top thirty overall. Eric Kinman (Erlanger, Ky.) was 23rd, followed by Daniel Kual (Stone Mountain, Ga.) in 26th and Brennan O’Quinn (Meadowview, Va.) 29th. Kinman crossed the line at the 28:12 mark with Kual 20 seconds behind him. O’Quinn recorded a 28:40 to round out the trio.
J.J. Hall (Elsmere, Ky.)was the fifth Bulldog to cross the finish line at 81st at 34:03. Johnny Barnes (Stone Mountain, Ga.) and Scotty Barnes (Ewing, Va.) were the other two Bulldog runners with times of 35:17 and 36:12, respectively.
Union finished third in the AAC standings with 106 points, two points in front of King (Tenn.) College and five ahead of Covenant (Ga.) College. The Bulldogs also added a sixth-place Region XII finish.
Bryan (Tenn.) College claimed both the NAIA Region XII and AAC crowns to earn a birth to the NAIA Cross Country National Championship. Milligan (Tenn.) College finished second in both while King and Covenant finished third and fourth in the region, respectively. The highest KIAC team was Berea (Ky.) College as the fifth-best team in the Region XII standings.
The individual championship went to Milligan’s Benjamin Ronoh and his time of 25:27.