Trio competes at half marathon championships

Last weekend three members of the Butler cross country team traveled to Levelland, Tex. for the 10th annual NJCAA Half Marathon Championships. It's a meet that was started during the 2003 season and was hosted by Butler in Wichita.

The only Butler lady to compete was Fiona Masai, who was fresh off of her All-American performance the week prior at the NJCAA Cross Country Championships.

Masai ran the 13.1 mile course in a time of one hour and 29 minutes and two seconds.  That time along with her fifth place finish helped Masai earn her second NJCAA All-American award of the season. 

Her time not only earned her All-American status but also put her in the Butler record books. With her performance she moved into sixth place on the Butler women's all-time half marathon list, a list that is topped by Diane Nukuri who ran a 1:16.01 on her way to the 2005 title. Nukuri's time not only won the title that season but still stands as the NJCAA Half Marathon Championships meet record.

For the Butler men Cesar Sanabria and Thomas Groom were the only two to compete. Sanabria who slightly sprained his ankle at the cross country championships the week before ran a 1:11.47 and finished in 6th place overall. His time also moved him into sixth place on the Butler men's all-time half marathon list. The men's list is headed by Joseph Maina, who won the men's 2005 meet in a time of 1:08.50.

For Groom it was the first race that he had competed in since the Ollie Isom meet on Oct. 19. His time of 1:27.19 put him in 82nd place.  

Butler Coach Jeff Becker said, "Groom ran well at the longer distance and beat a lot of people that beat him during cross country season."

The Butler runners will now start training for the upcoming indoor track and field season that starts on Jan. 9 at the Herm Wilson Invitational in Wichita.