Bendura, Campbell Shine at the Collegiate Trail Running National Championship

Athens, Ohio— Cross-country skiers from Richmond Jordan Bendura finished second and teammate Noah Campbell finished sixth at the Collegiate Trail Running National Championships in Athens, Ohio earlier this month. Bendura, held in the Thunderbunny 11K at Strouds Run State Park, capped a successful year in which his top-5 finish earned him Collegiate Running Association All-America honors.

Founded by Richmond’s Head Men’s Cross Country Coach SteveTaylor and Associate Athletics Head Coach Jon Molz In 2013, the Collegiate Running Association will hold their national 11 km trail championship race as part of the event and will award NCAA-approved cash prizes to the top three male and female finishers currently enrolled in at least one collegiate class.

Runners from across the country battled rain-soaked trails and dark skies with evening temperatures in the upper 60s over the 6.8-mile course. The race started a mild 4:50 mile from the leaders on a paved road before turning into the woods where they went head-to-head on a single course.

And it was a fight.

After nearly seven miles of aggressive trail racing, Ohio University‘s Josh Park emerged victorious while Bendura and another Ohio Bobcat, Tony Tonkovich, traded shots on the challenging course, all the while swapping places for the lead.

Emerging from the wet trails, Bendura charged for the lead with 250 yards to go, but Tonkovich caught up with the up-and-coming Spider-Junior and the rest of the race was an all-out sprint to claim the second National Championship title.

Shoulder-to-shoulder across the finish line, the pair leaned forward where Bendura (44:37.135) overtook Tonkovich (4:37.144) by just nine thousandths of a second. Campbell crossed over in sixth place to round out the top collegiate finishers.

It’s been a great year for Bendura, who has set personal bests at every distance he’s ridden this year. He was also a member of the Spiders 2020 Atlantic 10 Cross Country Championship team. He recently finished fourth in the 2022 Collegiate 10K Road Race National Championships at the 10K Ukrops Monument Avenue in Richmond on April 23.

During his freshman year, Campbell represented the United States at the 2018 Youth Sky Running World Championships in Fonte Cerreto, L’Aquila, Italy, and as a sophomore, he won the first-team all-conference and helped the Spiders, the Atlantic 10 Conference Cross Country Championships 2020 to win.

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