Keith Gerrard was unable to find his best form running for the University of New Mexico at the Mountain West Conference Championships in Utah on Saturday.
The Peel athlete finished 22nd from a field of 50 athletes.
The event was hosted by pre-race favourites the Brigham Young Cougars, who're ranked seventh in the national university cross country poll.
However the 19th-placed New Mexico Lobos were in the mood to upset the 2008 winners.
Gerrard, who was aiming for a top ten spot, was disappointed with his run and struggled to complete the eight kilometre course in a time of 25:31.
There was some consolation for Manx Sports Aid recipient though as the Lobos team took the title from the BYU Cougars for the first time in the 11-year history of the conference, with the US Air Force Academy finishing in third place.