(Illinois) – Bacone’s Jackson Thomas (Navajo) overtook defending champion Geoffrey Kipchumba of William Carey (Mississippi) in the final kilometer win the program’s first-ever NAIA cross country national individual title Saturday in Elsah, Illinois.
The last 1K of the individual race was arguably the most exciting moment of the 2016 championships, as Bacone’s (Okla.) Jackson out kicked defending national champion Kipchumba. The senior from Naschitti, N.M., flew through the course in a time of 23:50.2. Thomas, who was also named NAIA National Cross Country Runner of the Week once earlier this season, is now a two-time All-American – finished fourth last season.
“It’s very exciting, and very joyful way to end my last cross country season,” said Thomas. “I felt amazing during the race.”