ELSAH, Ill. -- Matt Young (SO/Woodland, Wash.) set a new personal best time of 25 minutes, 57.90 seconds to finish 93rd at the 61st annual NAIA Men's Cross Country National Championship, held at North Farm Cross Country Course.
Jackson Thomas of Bacone (Okla.) topped the field of 332 competitors in a time of 23:50.2.
Young finished 166th with a time of 26:41.8 in last year's meet at Charlotte, N.C.
"The course was pretty tough," said Young. "It was rolling hills throughout, but the weather was perfect, and with so many people you get swept up in the race and forget how challenging the course is."
Saturday's finish was even more impressive as Young checked into the hospital Tuesday night with flu-like symptoms, and UJ men's cross country head coach Ed Crawford had concerns how quickly the sophomore would be able to recover.
"The main thing was keeping Matt hydrated," Crawford said. "On the plane ride down, I was worried if he would be able to compete. He started to feel better Friday and was ready to go."
"Matt ran an incredible race," Crawford continued. "He went out smart--he's a very intelligent and patient runner--and I'm really happy with how he finished."
Young was the highest finisher from the North Star Athletic Association. Christopher Moreno of Dickinson State was the Blue Hawks' top runner, placing 114th with a time of 26:05.90.