James Jones leads men's cross country to 26th place at NCAA Championships

James Jones (center left) finished 28th overall to lead the Bates men's cross country team to 26th place at the NCAA Division III Championships in Winneconne, Wis., on Nov. 17, 2018. (D3Photography.com)

WINNECONNE, Wis. -- Led by an All-America performance by junior James Jones, the Bates men's cross country team placed 26th out of 32 teams Saturday at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships.

Making their sixth team trip to the NCAA Championships and their first since 2013, the Bobcats surged from a collective 30th place through 5 kilometers to move up four places at the finish line. Bates scored 604 points as a team, three points behind 25th-place Tufts (601) and nine ahead of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

Jones (Colorado Springs, Colo.) placed 28th out of 280 runners in the race, covering the 8-kilometer course at Lake Breeze Golf Club in 24:53.8.

Jones becomes the 15th All-American in program history, and the first since Allen Sumrall in 2015. All-America honors go to the top 40 individuals (previously the top 35).

Junior Justin Levine (Boca Raton, Fla.) finished second for Bates and 170th overall in 25:57.9. First-year Bart Rust (Croton on Hudson, N.Y.) placed 193rd (26:06.7), followed by sophomore Tucker Barber (Wilton, Maine) in 207th (26:13.6) and senior Henry Colt (Whately, Mass.) was Bates' fifth and final scorer in 215th place (26:18.3). Senior Mark Fusco (Cheshire, Conn.) came in 240th (26:32.8) and senior Nico Johnson (Frederick, Md.) was the Bobcats second and final displacer in 249th (26:46.5).