Westmont cross country runners Anneline Breytenbach and Zola Sokhela earn All-American honors at the NAIA National Championships in Vancouver, Wash.
Breytenbach, a sophomore, she finished in 27th place with a 5k time of 18:50.4. Sokhela, a freshman, was the 40th and final men’s competitor to earn All-American honors after completing the race in 25:54.4.
In the team competition, the Westmont women placed 17th and the men 23rd.
The first Warrior to finish behind Breytenbach was freshman Kari Anema, who capped off a stellar freshman year with a 74th place finish and a time of 19:24.9. The remainder of Westmont’s top-five came in during the following minute. Freshman Abigail Hundley completed the race in 20:03.5, freshman Callie Guthrie followed with a time of 20:20.8, and freshman Landon Torres rounded things out with a time of 20:25.4.
“The women’s team ran a steady race,” said Coach Lindsey Connolly. “Anneline was tough and persistent en route to earning All-American honors. Kari finished in the top-third of the field, which is a solid performance for a first-year at nationals.”
For Sokhela, in just two semesters at Westmont, this is now his fourth NAIA All-American honor after receiving a trio of honors from Outdoor Track & Field last season.
“Zola earning All-American status is a tribute to his speed at the finish,” said Westmont head coach Russell Smelley. “He finished his race with an incredible kick.”
Junior Garrett Miller narrowly missed out on All-American honors after he finished in 44th place with a time of 26:00.44. The next Warrior to finish was freshman Andres Leon, who completed the race in 27:15.8. Danny Rubin finished with a time of 27:30.4, while Adam King rounded out the team’s top-five with a time of 28:19.1.
“Garrett Miller ran a fantastic race,” noted Smelley. “It was his first national championship experience and he was not intimidated by the competition. Rather, he ran up to the competition. First-year Andres Leon ran like a veteran, leaning into the competition for his best race of the season. Overall, a 23rd place finish was representative of their 19th-placed ranking.”