Jack Shea, a Northern Arizona red-shirt freshman from Cherokee High, was sixth man Friday as the Lumberjacks won the NCAA Division 1 Mountain Region XC Championships in Provo, Utah.
Northern Arizona, ranked No. 1 in NCAA Division 1, outscored No. 2 Brigham Young 42-56 to win the regional title. No. 8 Colorado was third with 71 points in the most competitive region in the country, with five of the nation’s top 15 teams in the field.
Shea placed 41st overall and was the second-fastest sixth man, behind BYU junior Jacob Heslington. Shea covered the 10,000-meter course at East Bay Golf Course in 30:25, an average of 4:54 per mile.
Northern Arizona went 2-3-7-14-16 to win the team title.
Shea was the seventh freshman across the line. NAU’s lineup included four seniors, two sophomores and Shea.
At Cherokee, Shea was the 2016 South Jersey Group 4 champ in XC and placed sixth in the Meet of Champions in 15:58.
On Friday, he ran faster per mile than he ever ran in any 5,000-meter run in high school.
As one of the top two teams in team scoring in one of the nine regional meets Friday, NAU earned an automatic berth in the NCAA Championships. Thirteen other teams will be added as at-large entries.
Nationals are scheduled for Nov. 17 at the Thomas Zimmer Champion Course in Madison, Wisc., on the campus of the University of Wiscosin.