Shawnee’s Wentz runs in NAIA national meet

Published 11:59 pm Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Chuck Wentz got a taste of the national spotlight, and he shined a nice light himself.

The Shawnee State Bears men’s cross country team not only qualified for the NAIA national meet, but finished 11th overall with the former Fairland Dragons standout distance runner scoring with a personal-best time.

Malone College won its second straight NAIA national championship with just 61 points. Shawnee was 11th in the 32-tam field.

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Keegan Rathkamp ran a 24:45 time and was 10th individually to lead the Bears, thus become the first SSU male runner to earn All-American recognition.

The Bears’ Paul Webb ran a 25:54, Josh Linkous 25:57, Michael Owen 26:16, and Wentz posted his career-best time of 26:23 to round out the Shawnee State scoring.

During his career at Fairland, Wentz was all-conference and all-district in cross country and track. He qualified for the state cross country meet twice and placed No. 47 in his senior season.

Besides cross country, Wentz was a three-time state qualifier in track and he was also an outstanding wrestler.

The Shawnee State women’s team also qualified for the national meet and placed 13th in the field. Lisa Davies paced the Bears as she finished 17th overall in a time of 17:54, thus earning her All-American honors for the second time.

Star Emmert finished 27th overall in a time of 18:05, earning All-American recognition for her second time. Amanda Porter recorded a time of 19:00, while Sara Armstrong finished in a time of 19:30. Brittney LiPira rounded out the scoring for the Bears as she finished with a time of 19:51.