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November 17, 2001
Byrne runs at All-American pace at NCAA II Championships
University of Southern Indiana sophomore Joey Byrne (Goergetown, Indiana) ran an All-American race on Saturday, placing 13th at the NCAA Division II Championships in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania. The championships were hosted by Slippery Rock University.
Byrne, who ran the 10k race in 32:21.1, becomes the eighth USI cross country runner to earn All-American honors. He is the first USI runner since Ben Kapsoiya in 1998 and the third runner since 1996 to be named All-American for cross country. USI’s all-time top finisher in the NCAA Championships was Elly Rono, who won the national title in 1997 and was second in 1996.
Byrne, who won the Great Lakes Valley Conference individual championship on October 20, may have been the surprise of the men’s race. “Joey may have been one of the top five American runners in the race,” said USI Head Coach Mike Hillyard. “He really ran a beautiful race.”
“We had hoped he could get out a little quicker, but the pace was really quick at first,” continued Hillyard. “Joey was smart enough to run his own pace and did a nice job of making up ground at the end. He was about 30th at the 5k mark but was able to move 17 places by the end of the race.”
“This was the best race of the year for me,” said Byrne. “I didn’t run with my game plan but was able to pass quite a few people at the end. The problem at the end of the race was that I was unfamiliar with the other runners. I was ahead of everyone from my region.”
Byrne’s time of 32:21.1 was his second fastest 10k of the fall. He ran a 31:55.0 at the NCAA II Great Lakes Regional, placing third.
For complete results, click on box score below. Results should be posted on the web by 5 p.m. CST.
Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information