Rmidi Kinini makes Hawk history at NCAA Regionals
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — It can be stated that Hawks senior Khalil Rmidi Kinini will go down as the best cross country runner ever to compete for Maryland Eastern Shore. A three-time Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion and the first runner in MEAC history to win three individual titles, Rmidi Kinini cemented his legacy by become the first Hawk to qualify for NCAA Nationals.
The senior finished fifth at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals at University Park, Pennsylvania. His time of 30:54 is the best ever 10k time for a Maryland Eastern Shore runner regardless of season.
“It feels great.” Rmidi Kinini said after the race. “We worked really hard for this. Four years of putting in a lot of mileage. Coach Barrett was patient with me since freshman year, and I’m just really happy that the hard work paid off.”
Rmidi Kinini will be joined by runners from the top two teams in the Mid-Atlantic pool—Georgetown and Navy—along with the remaining top four individuals from the other 20 schools in the competition. Added together, that makes Rmidi Kinini one of 18 runners out of 157 to make the cut.
As a team the Hawks captured 14th place overall. The meet marked the end of the season for all other Hawks competing, but several of them earned spectacular performances of their own. Junior Stanley Meli came in 72nd place with a time of 32:16 while senior Mark Blackmon finished right behind with a time of 32:17 to place 75th. That time served as a personal best for Blackmon.
Fellow senior Nassor Whitehead was fourth among Hawks with a time of 33:55 in his final cross country race, and sophomore Jordan Leon earned a time of 34:13 to round out the scoring for the Hawks.
Rmidi Kinini will compete at NCAA Nationals in Terre Haute, Indiana on Nov. 19. The men’s race is scheduled for noon at the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course.