Mount Olive Ready To Compete At NCAA National Championship

UMO Men's Cross Country Team. Photo by James Benson.
UMO Men's Cross Country Team. Photo by James Benson.

MOUNT OLIVE, North Carolina - The University of Mount Olive men's cross country team will head to Sacramento, CA, this weekend to compete at the 2019 NCAA Division II Cross Country National Championship. 

The championships will be held on Nov. 23 in Sacramento, California, at Arcade Creek Cross Country Course part of the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex. California State University, Sacramento and the Sacramento Sports Commission will serve as hosts. The men's race will begin at 2:15 p.m. Eastern.

The University of Mount Olive has a strong history at nationals making appearances the last seven years with this year being the team's eighth trip to the big show. The highest finish the Trojans have had in program history is 11th (2017) which was a year that produced two All-Americans in Adam Craig (10th) and Jonathan Dahlke (37th). At last year's race, a cold rainy day that produced muddy running conditions, UMO finished 13th as a team led by Jacob Gonzalez (49th) and Tai Smith (63rd).

The Trojans look to produce a strong finish this year, as well as continuing the tradition of great cross country teams at Mount Olive. The Team won its eighth consecutive Conference Carolinas Men's Cross Country Championship and then followed with a third-place finish at the NCAA Southeast Regionals two weeks ago at Wingate, NC. Senior Tai Smith is coming off of a Conference Carolinas Runner of the Year title while junior Jacob Gonzalez led UMO at regionals with an 11th place finish. 

Joining Smith and Gonzalez to complete the seven-man team are Jacob Willis, Jay Hall, Jett Hall, Branson Oduor, and Daniel Francken. The Top-five runners will contribute to the overall team score and will determine the team's finish of the 34 teams competing.

A live web stream of the championships will occur on FloTrack from 1 p.m. Eastern time until the conclusion of the awards ceremony on Saturday, November 23.  FloTrack Pro subscribers will have access to the NCAA cross country coverage. Those seeking access can become a FloTrack Pro subscriber for a monthly price of $29.99. A subscription includes access to all FloTrack live broadcasts, video on-demand from all events, documentaries, technique videos and more, as well as premium content across the entire FloSports network. To access the direct link for the Division II Cross Country Championships please click here