PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WLUC) – It was a historic day for the Michigan Tech cross country program as Braden Reichl became the first All-American in the men's program and Emily Byrd became only the second All-American in women's program history at the 2018 NCAA Division II National Championships. The women's team finished seventh out 34 teams at Schenley Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
A sophomore out of Green River, Wyoming, Reichl finished 24th with a time of 33:04.1 on a muddy 10k course. Averaging 3:00.5 per mile, Reichl finished .3 seconds ahead of Hillsdale's Joseph Humes and only .8 seconds behind Sean Miller of Simon Fraser. Reichl started off in 117th at the 700m marker before slowly moving up at each marker. He jumped into the All-America placing after the 5.8k marker, moving into 29th from 34th at the previous checkpoint, where he remained for the rest of the race.
In the women's race, junior Byrd finished 20th in the 6k race with a time of 23:13.7, finishing one second ahead of Central Washington's Alexa Shindruk and .2 seconds behind Aneta Konieczek of Western Colorado. Byrd joins Kristen Couch in 1993 as the second All-American in Michigan Tech women's history. A native of Perrysburg, Ohio, Byrd found herself in 50th at the 700m marker, before jumping to 26th at the 1.8k marker. She continued to move up in the race, checking in at 15th by the 4.9k checkpoint, before finishing the race in 20th.
Freshman Gabrielle Feber put in a big performance today for Michigan Tech, crossing the finish line with a time of 23:38.3 to place 44th. Following Feber was senior Liz Bloch, who placed 53rd with a time of 23:47.7. Two-time All-Region honoree Emily Vigil and freshman Michelle Bollini crossed the finish line together, with Vigil finishing with a time of 24:29.8 to place 112th, and Bollini finishing at 24:30.2 to take 113th. Junior Carly Huggins (153rd, 25:02.9) and senior Sophia Farquhar (25:08.7) also raced for Michigan Tech today.
"Tody was an unreal day for our program," said head coach Jake Isaacson. "The course was an absolute mud pit, and we knew if was going to come down to toughness. Braden had an unbelievable race and helped set the tone for our women's team."
"We were eighth in the region a year ago and today we're seventh in the country," Isaacson continued. "These women are incredible, and it has been an absolute joy coaching them this fall."
The Huskies finished with 288 total points, putting them ahead of Chico State (300 pts.) and behind Alaska Anchorage (255 pts.) for seventh place. Grand Valley State finished first with 33 points, and Sarah Berger of GVSU took home the individual title with a time of 22:07.7. Grand Valley State also won the men's team title with 89 total points, and Marcelo Laguera of Colorado State-Pueblo won the men's individual title with a time of 31:36.4.