LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Competing at the NCAA Pre-National Invitational for the first time in school history, the Saint Louis men’s cross country team put up several 8K PRs Saturday at Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Kentucky.

Manuel de Backer led the Billikens with a 59th-place time of 24:08.7. That was the second-fastest 8K cross country time in school history, and just two seconds shy of Tim Zellmer’s 8K school record set in 2013.

As a team, the Billikens placed 32nd out of 41 programs.

The complete SLU results are located below. Complete meet results are attached on this page.

It was the final tuneup for the Billikens before the Atlantic 10 Conference Championships, which are slated for Saturday, Oct. 28, in Fairfax, Virginia.

Yesterday, the women’s team raced at the Bradley Pink Invitational. You can read that recap by clicking here.

"This was a good weekend for our teams,” SLU head coach Jon Bell said. “Our men had a great opportunity this weekend to race against some of the best teams in the nation. We have never been in a race this big and I'm pleased with the way we ran. Three men ran an 8K PR, and Manuel almost ran the school record. We learned what we need to do to become competitive at the national level.

“On Friday the women learned to deal with tough racing conditions,” Bell continued. “I’m glad we had this type of weekend prior to the conference meet. We'll be ready to compete at the A-10 Championships in two weeks."


Men’s 8K (Overall finish, name, time)
59. Manuel de Backer, 24:08.7
169. Aaron Dugan, 25:01.6
187. Dorrian Gordon, 25:11.8
191. Ben Naeger, 25:13.5
201. Hiob Gebisso, 25:17.5
267. Sean Conlin, 26:11.2
270. Colton Nettleton, 26:21.9