By Bob Flynn
Special to the Register
Register Staff Report
EKU junior Soufiane Bouchikhi finished second in the Under-23 men’s race Sunday at the European Cross Country Championships in Budapest, against 93 of the top cross country runners on the continent.
Running in frigid temperatures and on a snow-covered course, Bouchikhi, a native of Belgium, finished with a time of 24:40, second only to Norway’s Henrik Ingebrigtsen’s 24:30, and edging Great Britain’s James Wilkerson (2443) for the silver medal.
Ingebrigtsen set a Norwegian record in the 1,500-meter finals at the 2012 Olympics in London.
The silver medal was the crowning achievement of a brilliant cross country season for Bouchikhi who earlier won the NCAA Southeast Region Championship and earned All-American honors at the NCAA Cross Country Championships where he finished 40th in a time of 30:02.6.
He was also named both the Ohio Valley Conference and Southeast Region runner of the year.
Four other EKU runners represented Denmark at the Championships on Monday. Sophomore Thijs Nijhuis finished 32nd, sophomore Ole Hesselberg was 36th, freshman Mads Taersboel was 49th and freshman Jeppe Harboe finished 68th.
The Colonels distance runners will open the indoor track and field season in January.