SMSU CROSS COUNTRY: SMSU’s Bashir Aidrus earns All-American honors with 18th place finish at NCAA Championships

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Southwest Minnesota State University sophomore Bashir Aidrus placed 18th out of 249 runners to earn All-American honors at the 2017 NCAA Division II Championships held at Angel Mounds on Saturday morning.

The championship was hosted by the University of Southern Indiana and the Evansville Sports Corporation.

Aidrus, a native of Waite Park becomes the first SMSU runner to earn All-American honors in school history. Aidrus finished the 10K race in a time of 31:31.9 and was the second highest finisher among Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference runners in the race.

Aidrus closed the race with a pace of 5:05 per mile. His 1K split was 3:00.4, while his 2K split time was 6:11.2. At 3K, his split was 9:42.7, followed by 12:27.8 at 4K, 15:22.4 at 5K, 18:55.3 at 6K, 22:10.2 at 7K, 25:49 at 8K and 28:40 at 9K.

SMSU coach Dan Allen said Bashir completely exceeded expectations and ran one of the toughest races he’s competed in.

“It was one of those things where we set out goals for Bashir and he completely exceeded expectations,” Allen said. “It was one of the toughest races he’s run in and as a coach it’s really exciting to see how well he performed.”

Aidrus was the first SMSU athlete to compete at the NCAA Championships in program. SMSU had three previous athletes compete at the NAIA Championships-the last in 1983.

Allen said the sky’s the limit with Aidrus and this is only the beginning for him.

“The sky’s the limit with him; he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with on every level and each season until he graduates,” Allen said. “This is a great catapult to his career.”

James Ngandu from Tiffin University (Ohio) won the individual title with a time of 30:18.8. Adams State University (Colo.) won the team championship with 44 points, 20 points ahead of second place Grand Valley State (Mich.)

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