Soosloff makes history in Iowa
Field Soosloff becomes first Northern male to compete in NAIA cross country championships
Last updated 4/13/2021 at 7:49am
Field Soosloff made history for the Montana State University-Northern men's cross country team this past Friday as he was the first male runner to qualify for the NAIA national meet, which was held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Out of the 317 individual male runners who participated in the meet, Soosloff finished 229th with a time of 27:45.64.
"It really wasn't ideal. I didn't perform as I expected," Soosloff said. "I was kind of intimidated by the field. It was kind of overwhelming, so I kind of psyched myself out."
The course that he ran was five miles, meaning he averaged 5:35.1 per mile. Zouhair Talbi of Oklahoma City finished first in the meet with a time of 23:45.15. Soosloff was not the only individual runner from the Frontier Conference to qualify for the meet as Luke Lutz from Montana Western finished behind Soosloff in 253rd place with a time of 28:05.0.
Soosloff competed against runners from Rocky Mountain College and Carroll College, who had qualified for the meet as teams. Rocky Mountain had seven runners compete in the individual race along with Soosloff. Their best runner, Jackson Wilson, finished 14th with a time of 24:54.04.
Carroll also had seven runners compete as individuals in the same race as Soosloff. Their best runner Friday was Spencer Swaim, who finished 137th with a time of 26:39.75. Soosloff also got to compete with NAIA runners from across the country, giving him the chance to learn and motivate him to be better.
"It was really cool. There were hundreds of runners, super talented, super fast," Soosloff said. "Just overall a great experience and I'm excited to go back next year and to actually perform way better."
The national meet caps off a strong season for Soosloff. At the Frontier Conference Championship last November, he finished third with a time of 26:42.9 behind Rocky Mountain's Wilson and Elijah Boyd.
With the season now over, Soosloff now looks ahead to his senior season at MSU-N. Soosloff believes he learned a lot at the national meet and hopes he can use that to improve as a runner and help his team.
"I can learn tactics like how to go out with the leaders or how to race better," Soosloff said. "It gives me something to look forward to and train for this summer and next season and hopefully we'll be there as a team together this time."
The Lights, and the rest of the Frontier competed last fall, but the 2020 championships were moved to spring due to the coronavirus pandemic.