TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Sophomore Tecumseh Adams finished 69th at the NCAA Cross Country National Championships at the Lavern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course Monday afternoon to cap a successful season.
The Harbor Springs native ran a 30:33 on the 10K course to earn 69th place, well within the top third of the 255-runner field. He was the 13th fastest of the 50 sophomores in the race.
Adams also finished the best of the eight runners representing a university from the state of Michigan in the men's race. All seven runners from the University of Michigan finished behind him, including senior Craig Forys (75th), who passed Adams at the very end of the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Meet Saturday, Nov. 12, to give Adams a fourth place finish.
Though his goal was to finish in the top 30 of the field and earn All-American honors, Adams said the experience was still a valuable one.
"It was the fastest race I've ever been a part of," he said. "It was really humbling in a way because it made me realize I'm still a long ways away from where I want to be. It's also good motivation for the future."
He and the 254 other runners in the field battled through misty rain, temperatures in the low 50s and wind.
"The course wasn't terrible but it was a little soggy," he said. "It made it harder to run fast. It really made sticking with the guys up front harder."
Adams got off to a fast start, coming by the 2K mark in 29th place with a 5:45 split.
He dropped a few places by the end of the first of the two laps at the 5K mark, where he crossed with a 14:55 split.
"We got out really fast," he said. "I was expecting for the pack to even out a little bit, and the breaks in the race happened a little early. I was caught in between and I started going backwards in the middle of the race."
Just over halfway through the second lap at the 8K mark, Adams was in 61st place after running a 24:19 split.
A few more runners passed between the 8K and the finish, but he was able to pass an Indiana runner in the final homestretch to move into 69th, where he finished.
Adams plans to use this experience at the National Championships as a stepping stone not only for himself, but also for his team next season.
"It's going to make me train a lot harder for indoor now and to keep focused over the summer for next cross season," he said. "We have a great chance to go as a team next year, so I'd love it if all of our guys came back (for next cross country season) in decent shape and we could really move forward from there. I think we have the potential to do that."