BOUCHIKHI FINISHES SECOND AT EUROPEAN CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
December 11, 2012
RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University junior Soufiane Bouchikhi finished second in the Under-23 men’s race at the European Cross Country Championships on Sunday in Budapest.
Facing frigid temperatures and snow-blanketed terrain, Bouchikhi, a native of Belgium, covered the rugged, 8K course in a time of 24:40, losing only to Norway’s Henrik Ingebrigtsen (24:30) and edging Great Britain’s James Wilkinson (24:43) for the silver medal. Ingebrigtsen set a Norwegian record in the 1,500-meter finals at the 2012 Olympics in London. Sunday’s field featured 94 of some of the top cross country runners on the continent.
The silver medal was the crowning achievement of a brilliant cross country season for Bouchikhi, who won the NCAA Southeast Region Championships and earned All-American honors at the NCAA Cross Country Championships this fall while competing for EKU.
Four of Bouchikhi’s EKU teammates, sophomores Thijs Nijhuis and Ole Hesselbjerg and freshmen Mads Taersboel and Jeppe Harboe, represented Denmark at the championships on Monday. Nijhuis finished 32nd, while Hesslebjerg was 36th, Taersboel was 49th and Harboe was 68th.
Bouchikhi and the rest of the Colonel distance runners open the indoor track and field season in January.