(RMC Athletics photo)

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Fred Petsch didn’t earn the all-American status he was chasing, but the Rocky Mountain College runner did help the Battlin’ Bears make history on Saturday afternoon at the NAIA cross country championships.

Petsch, the former Billings West runner, placed 49th in the national championship race, crossing the 8K race in 25:46. Teammate Jackson Duffey sprinted across the finish line minutes later in 27:10, with the duo becoming the first pair of Rocky runners to compete at nationals since 2013.

The top 30 runners earn all-American status.

Montana Western was represented by sophomore Josh Jessop. The former Corvallis runner scored a time of 26:33, good for 134th best in the race. Carroll College junior Layne Ryerson, the former Helena High sports star, placed 178th with a time of 26:50.

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Oklahoma City sophomore Mark Shaw won the men’s race with a time of 24:09, 10 seconds better than runner-up Geoffrey Kipchumba of William Carey.

British Columbia won the men’s team championship, duplicating the efforts of the women’s program making it a clean sweep for BC.

Click here to read more about the women’s race.