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McKenzie turns in Simpson's best performance at nationals in 22 years

Ian Mckenzie placed 140th at the national meet on Saturday, Nov. 18, the best finish by a Storm runner since 1995.
Ian Mckenzie placed 140th at the national meet on Saturday, Nov. 18, the best finish by a Storm runner since 1995.

ELSAH, Ill. — Ian McKenzie saved his best for last, running the race of his career at the 2017 NCAA Division III Cross Country National Championship on Saturday.

The senior placed 140th in the field of 279 runners, the best finish by a Simpson runner since Matt Chance in 1995. Chance ran to a 136th-place finish that year, around the same time McKenzie was turning eight weeks old.

"Ian ran his best race of the season today," head coach Heath Moenck said. "He capped off a great career with one of our program's better national performances. Not only will we miss his running ability, but his leadership and commitment as well."

McKenzie wasn't shaken in his first appearance at a national meet, navigating the 8k course at the North Farm Facility in 25:43.36. He is Simpson's 13th national qualifier in school history and first since Joe Farrand in 2012.

After placing 20th at the NCAA Central Region Championship last week, the Des Moines, Iowa native placed 15th among Central Region competitors on Saturday.