Sumrall wins All-America honors at NCAA Championships

Allen Sumrall became the 14th All-American in Bates men's cross country history at the NCAA Championships at Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. (Al Fereshetian)

WINNECONNE, Wis. -- The Allen Sumrall story keeps getting better.

The senior from New Mexico represented Bates men's cross country at the NCAA Division III Championships on Saturday and finished 31st out of 278 runners, to become the 14th All-American men's cross country runner in program history. The top 35 runners in the race earned All-America honors. 

"It still has not hit me yet. I cannot believe I finished as an All-American," Sumrall said. "The race did not go as I expected it to, and it did not feel like I expected. Nationals is a completely different race from all the others I've run." 

"If you'd have told me two years ago that I would be a cross country All-American, I absolutely would not have believed you. This is just one of the many incredible things Bates has given to me. I'm still a bit delirious and dazed." 

The last Bates men's cross country runner to become an All-American was Tully Hannan in 2012. 

"This is a great day for Allen and our program," head coach Al Fereshetian said. "To watch his development over the past two years is nothing short of remarkable."

Sumrall ran the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh's 8-kilometer course at Lake Breeze Golf Club in 24:57.6. 

Sumrall did not run on his high school's cross country team and only joined the Bates cross country squad as a junior last season. He was an All-New England Region runner in 2014, his first year running cross country since middle school. This year he became the team's captain and led them to an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Regionals.

Next up for Sumrall is the indoor track and field season, which officially gets under way for Bates on January 16 against Colby and MIT.