Western Colorado University’s Taylor Stack was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s Division II National Runner of the Week after finishing as the top Division II runner at the Chile Pepper Invite on Saturday.
The junior from Salida had the top finish for any Mountaineer, placing fifth in the collegiate 8K with a time of 23 minutes, 55 seconds, just 20 seconds behind the unattached leader. In Stack’s personal best performance, he finished as the third collegiate runner in the field.
The Chile Pepper Festival featured a battle between nationally ranked teams from just about every collegiate division. There were 304 athletes who toed the line in Fayetteville, Ark., for the men’s 8K. Stack finished ahead of 299 of them.
This is Western Colorado’s second National Athlete of the Week honor in men’s cross-country. Keifer Johnson received the award on Sept. 8, 2014.