THE FLATS - Georgia Tech men's cross country senior Nahom Solomon became an All-American on Saturday when he turned in the best finish by a Yellow Jacket in program history, finishing 22nd overall in the NCAA National Championships.
"It was a great day for Nahom and for Georgia Tech cross country. What an impressive run and what an awesome way to end his NCAA cross country career," head coach Alan Drosky said. "His goal was top 25 and he positioned himself well throughout the race. At 8k he was 34th and it was gut-check time. He's run with great courage all season and he was able to find something extra over the last 2k to move to 22nd. We are so proud of him and what he has done for our program."
By finishing in the top 40, Solomon became the first men's cross country student-athlete since Kevin Graham (1994) to be named an All-American. His career-best 10k time of 29.44.36 also the fastest Georgia Tech time since Graham (32nd) in the Fayetteville, Ark., Nationals in 1994. Between both the men and women, Solomon is the first All-American since Renee Metivier earned the honor after finishing second in the 2001 Nationals.
Solomon is one of just three men's cross country student-athletes in the Atlantic Coast Conference to be named an All-American this year.
The Snellville native started the race strong, finishing the first 2k leg in just 5:42.9. He improved slightly before the 4k marker, jumping up three spots to 22nd with an 11:47.0 time before suffering his biggest setback at the 8k marker.
At the 8k, Solomon fell back 12 spots to be in 34th position overall. Not to be denied in his final cross country race as a Yellow Jacket, Solomon gained back each of the 12 positions lost to finish 22nd overall and take home the all-America honors.
An all-South Region honoree, Solomon finishes his cross country career having led the Yellow Jackets at every meet that he's competed in for the past two years. Including the seventh-place finish at the NCAA Regional Championship in Alabama, the senior has compiled three top-5 finishes and one sixth-place finish this season, as well as led Georgia Tech to three top-5 team finishes overall.
Solomon kick-started his career-defining senior cross country season by earning ACC Cross Country Performer of the Week honors after his first-place finish at the Jacksonville Open in which the Yellow Jackets also took home the title with an impressive 15 points in the 5K race.