BILLINGS — Jackson Wilson, a senior at Rocky Mountain College, demonstrated an unwavering determination during the NAIA national cross country meet in Vancouver, Washington on Friday. This determination culminated in Wilson winning the men’s 8K race and claiming the title of NAIA national champion.
Wilson, from Box Elder, South Dakota, completed the race with a time of 24:31.8, capturing first place by nine seconds and earning the RMC cross country program’s first individual national championship.
Reflecting on his victory, Wilson said, “I just knew if I could stay in the top four for as long as I could, that the last 1K I knew I could win it from there.”
Wilson’s victory was met with intense competition, as Joseph Skoog of Bethel University (Tennessee) finished second in 24:40.9 and St. Mary’s (Kansas) Emad Bashir-Mohammed secured third place with a time of 24:49.1.
Throughout the race, Wilson displayed remarkable determination and strategic precision. Initially positioned behind the lead pack, he steadily made his way to the front group and paces himself through the later stages of the race.
Assistant coach Jackson Duffey reflected on Wilson’s performance, emphasizing his patience and consistent positioning throughout the race. “What stood out the most is how he ran the race,” said Duffey, praising Wilson’s exceptional strategic approach.
This remarkable feat marks Wilson’s third career All-American finish and is a proud achievement for the RMC cross country program. Wilson attributed his success to the unwavering support of his coaches, teammates, family, and friends.
Wilson’s victory represents the culmination of relentless dedication and a winning collaboration with his teammates. “It has been a great team I’ve been on these last five years,” Wilson said, acknowledging the collective effort behind his individual achievement.
Looking ahead, the championship win serves as a testament to Wilson’s commitment and is a result of rigorous training and consistent hard work. His victory has elevated expectations at Rocky
Wilson explained that his coaches and teammates have helped push him to new heights
Moreover, Wilson’s victory is a reflection of his long-term ambition and dedication, with aspirations that began during his freshman year at RMC.
Junior Justin Morgan of Montana Tech also secured an impressive 33rd place in the race, earning All-American honors.
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