IND. -- North Central College won its third NCAA Division III Men's
Cross Country National Championship in the past four seasons in
Saturday's national meet at the LaVern Gibson Course.
John Crain led the individual effort for North Central with a
sixth-place finish in a time of 24:43. Dan Kerley also earned
All-American honors and provided depth with a 14th place finish in
a time of 24:48.
North Central won its second consecutive national championship
with a team score of 167. Calvin and Haverford tied for
second place with 188 points, followed by Wisconsin-La Crosse with
190. Washington University rounded out the top five with
Rounding out the top 10 in team scoring were Bates, Tufts,
Middlebury, Wheaton (Illinois) and Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
"The strategy was one word and one word alone, and that was the
team dynamic. I know it's sounds corny but our strategy was
to tap into the team. The team was going to carry us through
the season and through this race," said North Central head coach
The title also marks the 15th national championship for North
Central in the 30-year history of the NCAA Division III Cross
Country National Championships.
"I'm still kind of in shock. It always feels fantastic to
be national champions, but what's most important is not the label
but the experiences that we share the entire year," said
Individually, Tim Nelson of Wisconsin-Stout (pictured) won the
eight-kilometer national championship in convincing fashion with a
time of 24:26.
"My strategy was to stay relaxed for the first 2K and not slow
down on the winding turns," said Nelson. "I told myself
before the race that if I didn't win, I'd be okay with it as long
as I gave everything I had. To be able to do that and win the
race, it's very satisfying."
Bobby Over of Allegheny came home second in 24:34, followed by
Grant Wintheiser of St. Olaf (24:35), Kevin Sparks of Washington
University (24:37) and Tully Hannan of Bates (24:39).
The top 10 individuals also included Crain, Tim Hartunk of York
(Pa.), Noah Droddy of DePauw, Coby Horowitz of Bowdoin and Alex
Brimstein of Geneseo State.
The event marks the first time Rose-Hulman Institute of
Technology has hosted the NCAA Division III Cross Country National
Championship and the 10th time that the LaVern Gibson Course has
hosted a national event. The Course has also served of the
NCAA Division I championships from 2004-11.
#1 in the nation for 15 years!
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