VERONA, Wis. —
Two Terre Haute North alumni appear to be heading to the NCAA Cross Country Championships next Saturday at Louisville.
Zach Mayhew was second for Indiana University on Friday in a 10-kilometer time of 30 minutes, 43 seconds, finishing runner-up to Mohammed Ahmed of defending national champion Wisconsin.
Mascari, a redshirt freshman for Indiana State, charged to the lead pack and held on for seventh place in the Great Lakes Regional. Mascari’s time was 30:56, his collegiate best in a 10K.
As long as Indiana receives one of 13 at-large berths to the NCAAs, Mascari will be the top individual qualifier out of the Great Lakes.
“Unbelievable. He’s been a great, great racer all year,” ISU coach John McNichols said. “No guarantees going in, he knew what he was in for. Our team meeting, I tried to break down all the possible scenarios for individuals and teams. I’m surprised by a couple teams that moved ahead of us and couple teams that were behind us.”
Indiana State was 10th as a team.
“We got out, maybe a little rich for some of our guys, but it’s just really hard to figure out how to race this. If you sit back, then you end up with too many people to pass,” McNichols said. “The plan was for the top three guys to go, be in top 20-25 then other guys, we’d identified a few teams to find and race with. I don’t know that we executed our plan very well. The top 3 did a pretty good job.”
Mascari is the first Sycamore since Eric Schulz in 2009 to qualify for the NCAAs. Craig Padgett missed by one place in 2011.