‘We are very proud’: Wingate men’s cross country team wins national title

The Bulldogs edged the defending champion Colorado School of Mines to claim the championship.
Wingate won its first men's cross country championship on Saturday, edging the defending...
Wingate won its first men's cross country championship on Saturday, edging the defending champions.(Wingate Bulldogs)
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 10:47 AM EST
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JOPLIN, Mo. (WBTV) - Wingate University won its first men’s cross country national championship on Saturday, narrowly defeating the defending-champion Colorado School of Mines to claim the title.

The Bulldogs entered Saturday’s meet as the second-ranked team in the country and were fresh off victories in both the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) Championship and NCAA Southeast Regional meets.

“We are very proud of our men’s and women’s cross country student-athletes and our XC coaching staff,” Wingate director of athletics Joe Reich said via the school’s website. “What an outstanding accomplishment!”

With a cross country trophy to now add to the case, Wingate has notched three national titles since 2016. The Bulldogs’ men’s soccer team won in 2016 while the baseball team won in 2021.

A total of 260 runners from 34 schools posted finishing times in Saturday’s 10K championship event. Wingate’s five scored runners all finished within the top 30, led by freshman Hamza Chahid, who finished fourth. Junior Soheil Boufrizi also finished in the top 10.

Chahid and Boufrizi, along with Ricardo Barbosa, Cas Kopmels and Titouan Le Grix each earned All-American honors for their performances.

As a team, Wingate scored 70 points. Colorado School of Mines posted 79, while East Central, West Texas A&M and Western Colorado rounded out the top five with distant point totals.

In seven meets this season, the Bulldogs never finished worse than fourth. The team also never fell outside of the top three in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll.

Wingate’s women’s team also ran well all year, staying in the top 20 in the poll throughout the season, before finishing eighth in their respective title meet.

Related: Lenoir-Rhyne teams honored by NC governor after winning national championships

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