WAVERLY, Iowa — The duo of Ian McKenzie and Jonathan Facio helped bring home Simpson's first all-conference honor since 2012 as the Storm came in fifth at the Iowa Conference Men's Cross Country Championship form Max Cross Country Course on Saturday.
Competing in one of the toughest conferences in the nation, Simpson finished just two points out of fourth behind Luther. The top three teams—Loras, Wartburg, and Nebraska Wesleyan— are all nationally ranked and the Norse are eighth in the Central Region.
Simpson finished with 119 points while Luther had 117. A year ago the Storm came in sixth overall and were 80 points out of fifth place.
Simpson's top finisher in two of three meets this season, McKenzie ran 25:53.0 to place 13th in the field of 168 runners to earn the first all-conference honor of his career.
Facio continued his breakout season with a 15th-place finish, navigating the course in 26:02.1. The sophomore improved 73 spots from his conference finish a year ago when he came in 88th.
The last time a Simpson cross country runner earned all-conference honors was in 2012 when Joe Farrand came in fifth. The last time two Storm runners earned all-conference honors in the same year was 2008 when Eric Osterhaus and Eric Patten came in fifth and sixth, respectively.
"Our men had a fantastic day and I could not be more excited for the group. The investment they have made since early June was rewarded today. Ian ran terrific once again to earn his first all-conference honor. What Jonathan did today was absolutely spectacular." — head coach Heath Moenck
Storm Varsity Finishers
13. Ian McKenzie, 25:53.0
15. Jonathan Facio, 26:02.1
27. Trey Thompson, 26:20.8
31. Kyle Hovey, 26:29.8
40. Tyler Combs, 26:57.8
41. Levi Lefebure, 26:58.6
62. Seth Nostrala, 27:38.1
The Storm have a week off before competing at the NCAA Central Region Championship in Northfield, Minn. on Saturday, Nov. 11.