By MacKenzie Tuttle and Nicole Fredette for Berryvikings.com
ROME, Ga. -- The Berry College men's cross country team competed on their home course at the NCAA Division III Regionals on Saturday. The Vikings placed eighth overall in the 8K race.
Led by Grant Murphy's sixth place finish, Emory University placed first overall with a total of 62 points. Bridgewater College (Va.) took home second place with 65 points. Luke Sohl finished fifth to lead Bridgewater.
Individually, senior Ryan Gehman took home the championship title for Eastern Mennonite with a time of 25:32.36. Roanoke's Toney Harrison finished second (25:34.43).
For the Vikings, sophomore Matt Walker led Berry with a PR of 26:51.82. Walker shaved 40 seconds off his PR and finished 39th out of 201 runners.
"Hosting the regional meet is a special opportunity," Walker said. "The great atmosphere of regionals--and the quality of the teams--brings so much enthusiasm and spirit to the races. I give credit to my teammates who pushed me the entire way."
Sophomore Sam Berendsen placed 41st with a season-best time of 26:55.26. Senior and team captain Zack Jordan raced a solid 27:12.95 (54th). Freshman Robert Bevins clocked in with a PR of 27:29.94 (68th). He dropped 28 seconds off his previous PR.
"The most challenging part of the race was pacing," Bevins said. "I really wanted to go out fast, knowing it was the most important meet of the season."
The NCAA DIII Regionals put a close to the Berry cross country season.