Philip Dybfest-Muha Qualifies for NAIA XC Nationals
The Paul Smith’s College men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the NAIA National qualifying race for the TranSouth and Sunrise Conferences this past Saturday (November 8th) at Percy Warner Park in Nashville, Tennessee.
The men’s team was paced by senior Philip Dybfest-Muha, who placed ninth overall, and qualified for the NAIA Nationals, being held in Kenosha, WI. Dybfest-Muha was the top finisher from the Sunrise Conference, finishing the 8 kilometer event in 28:44. He was followed by fellow senior, Dean Rinehart, who finished in 14th place with a time of 29:43. Other Paul Smith's College finishers with their respective time and place include: Stefan Bibb (30:50; 19th place), Josh Kush (32:07; 23rd place), and Jon Wilcox (34:28; 31st place).
The Paul Smith's College men’s team placed fourth with 95 points out of the seven men’s teams fielding scoring teams. Union University from Tennessee won with 34 points, and became an automatic qualifier for the National meet.
Dybfest-Muha is the first Paul Smith's College athlete to qualify to compete in NAIA Nationals in our three years of participation in this national conference. He is also the only male runner to represent the Sunrise Conference in this national event, featuring 32 collegiate teams, and 111 individual qualified athletes.
Jessie Gardner took the top spot for our women’s team, placing 15th with a time of 22:26 over the 5 kilometer course. She was followed by Ashley Comeau in 25:01 (25th place) and Dana Miller in 25:18 (29th place). Amanda Curtis rounded out the Paul Smith's College finishers, placing 37th in a time of 27:49.
Union University won for the women, with 17 points, followed by Blue Mountain College from Blue Mountain, Mississippi with 61 points, and the University of Maine – Presque Isle with 93 points. The colleges and universities of the TranSouth Conference and the Sunrise Conference, although far apart geographically, made for a truly competitive event with similarly small colleges taking part. Colleges in the TranSouth come from Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas and Mississippi.