DEARBORN, Mich.— The UM-Dearborn men's cross country team recently finished third in the WHAC Championship Saturday and was ranked as high as 20th this season. Their magical season will continue next week as for the first time in program history, the team qualified for the NAIA National Championship as announced Tuesday evening by the NAIA.
After Saturday's WHAC Championship, Coach Joe Horka, who is in his ninth as the head coach, was cautiously optimistic. "I didn't want to get my hopes up too much, but I calculated us qualifying," Horka said. He continued, "I was stewing about it all weekend." Horka was named the WHAC Champions of Character Coach this season as announced Saturday at the WHAC Championship.
The Wolverines were once again paced by seniors Ryan Exell and Josh Mussen. Both have qualified as individuals for the NAIA National Championship, but now will be joined by their teammates. Exell was named to the All-Conference First Team and Mussen the All-Conference Second Team for their efforts this season.
The NAIA Cross Country National Championship takes place on Friday, November 19th in Vancouver, Washington. A total of 36 teams qualified for the National Championship including fellow WHAC schools Cornerstone and Aquinas