Berry men, James place second at SAA XC Championships

Ryan James
Ryan James

By: Nicole Fredette

ROME, Ga. – Senior team captain Ryan James led the Berry College men's cross country team to a second place finish at the 2013 Southern Athletic Association championships on Saturday at the Clara Bowl. Full results

The Vikings scored 47 points. They finished behind Centre (24 points) and ahead of Rhodes (70).

James and rival John Kieffer battled side-by-side the entire race. Kieffer trailed most of 8K distance, but passed James in the end. Kiefffer clocked a 25:18.43 and James came in at 25:35.35. James earned first team All-SAA honors.

Three other Vikings earned all-conference accolades. Senior Brandon Davis finished second for Berry runners and sixth overall (26:55.14) and was a second team honoree. 

"My goal today was to make the top 10," Davis says. "I didn't know how everyone else would do, but I knew I would have to have a good day to make that happen. I raced with Centre's fourth man from mile three all the way to the finish – maybe the hardest race anyone has ever give me. That's what really helped me finish well."

Third and fourth Berry runners junior Zack Jordan (11th, 27:19.30) and sophomore Kyle Harris (12th, 27:20.85) garnered SAA Honorable Mention distinction.

"Throughout the race, I just kept working and focusing on passing the next person knowing how important each point would be for us," Harris says. "I ended up running 27:20, which is a 3 second PR from Furman! We all worked really hard today and accomplished our goal, so that was exciting!"

Finishing fifth for Berry runners, freshman Samuel Berendsen placed 16th with a personal record time of 27:25.16. Freshman Ebenezer Agaro finished 27th overall and posted a 28:13.56. Agaro dropped 37 seconds off his previous 8K personal record. Freshman Matt Walker placed 35th in the meet. Walker clocked in at 28:34.23. 

Sophomore Isaac Zaubi finished 39th with an 8K time of 29:11.19. Sophomore Kevin Mason placed 57th and clocked in at 32:05.45. Junior Michael Klein finished 59th and posted a 32:23.34.

The Vikings next compete at the NCAA Regionals. The event is Nov. 16 in Newport News, Va.