Runners across the country are coming back to school and starting practice again hoping to rank with the best of the best. Some of last year's top runners are returning for that glory.
Kenyan-born Lawi Lalang was the 2011 Pac-10 Champion in the 1,500 meter and the 2012 Pac-12 Cross Country Champion. Lalang broke the 8,000 meter course record with a time of 22:37. Prior to the 2011 season, Lalang had no cross country training.
Junior Mohammed Ahmed earned second-team All-America honors with a 14th-place finish in 5,000 meters at the NCAA championships (6/11) in a time of 13:58.54. The native Somalian made his Olympic debut this past summer in London for Canada and was 18th in the 10,000 meter race.
Henry Lelei earned All-America honors with a ninth-place finish at the NCAA championships as Texas A&M placed 18th in team scoring in 2011. The senior from Kenya finished third overall at the NCAA Big 12 Championship, which helped the Aggies secure a final fourth-place spot in the tournament.
In the 2011 season, Junior Paul Chelimo remained undefeated for the first four meets. The Kenyan native placed 13th overall in the NCAA championship and became the first Spartan to earn cross country All-American honors. He has the 2011 Southern Conference title after winning the Southern Conference cross country title.
In Andrew Colley's first race of the 2011 season, he placed second in the 8,000 meter with 23:09.2. This was also his first cross country race ever. The junior from Williamsburg, Va. earned an All-American title by placing 15th in the 2011 NCAA championship with a time of 29:40.0.
NC State Athletics
United Kingdom import David Forrester consistently placed first or second for the Seminoles throughout the season. He finished 16th place in the NCAA championship this past year, the highest FSU has placed in the last 42 years. This placement helped garner FSU to finish 12th in the championship.
Florida State Athletics
Rex Shields placed in the top 10 in five out of six of his races in the 2011 season. The only race the senior from Springville, Utah, wasn't top 10 in the NCAA championship, where he came in as the 22nd runner. He was third in the BYU Invitation in the 4-mile race, where he had a time of 19:25.8.