The Hamline University men's cross country team finished 17th in a field of 32 teams at the NCAA Championships in Winneconne, Wisconsin on Saturday.
"We wanted to be in the top 15 but considering we were projected 26th (in the final NCAA poll), that's a pretty good day," said coach Paul Schmaedeke. "We beat the teams that beat us (in the NCAA regional) last week. That's a great way to end up."
Jack Deichert finished in 20th place, negotiating the 8K course in a time of 24:37.97, to lead the Hamline--earning All-American honors in the process. Devin Monson came in 68th after battling injury and illness for the last two weeks. Ellis Richardson was 98th, Colin Rogers was 174th and Nate Dobbins was the fifth scorer, ending at 201st place. While Chris Reisdorfer and Brendan Ruter rounded out the seven-runner squad.
The Pipers' total of 422 points was a mere 21 points out of 15th place and only 80 away from the top 10. The NCAA race also marks the end for cross country competition for Deichert, Monson and Richardson. The trio was part of three consecutive MIAC championships as well as three trips to the NCAA meet. They came away with their best team results of their three trips to nationals. In 2009, Hamline was 23rd. Last year, the Pipers finished 22nd.
The Hamline men's cross country finished third on Saturday in the central regional championship meet in Waverly, Iowa. The team was led by Jack Deichert and Ellis Richardson who finished second and third overall in the meet.
On Sunday, the Pipers received an at-large bid to run in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA’s) Division III meet which will be held on Saturday, November 19 in Winneconne, Wisconsin. Hamline
will join St. Olaf, which edged them out for second place at the central regional meet, as the only Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) representatives at the
meet. The at-large selection recognizes the Piper men's season long success, including the MIAC conference title and high national ranking over the past several months.
For the complete list of teams going to Wisconsin as well as other key information about the meet, click here.
Hamline University men’s cross country runners Devin Monson, Jack Deichert, and Ellis Richardson know success. The senior captains have helped to win three Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) titles over the past three years, a feat only a few other teams in the conference have ever accomplished.
“It’s a pretty great accomplishment,” cross country coach Paul Schmaedeke said. “Winning three in a row requires making a real commitment to training year-round.”
At the 2011 conference championship, Monson, Deichert, and Richardson finished 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the meet respectively to anchor Hamline’s squad. As seniors, they know their role is not just limited to finishing near the top.
“We really stress staying focused and calm to the underclassman before each race,” Monson said. “Coach Schmaedeke tells us to "start smart, finish strong," which is the mantra we as the captains also try to emphasize.”
The trio also believes their success can be attributed to individual strengths, which they use to push each other in practice—crucial to “game day” performance.
“There is a motivation factor,” Deichert said. “We all hate losing to each other—forcing us to work each and every day.”
Though Deichert is quick to add, he would rather lose to a teammate than another team. While running is typically considered more of an individual sport, cross country runners don’t think that way at Hamline.
“Having other people to run for pushes you to run at a higher level and do things you didn’t think you had in you,” Richardson said.
The Pipers are not resting on past laurels either. On Saturday, November 12, they race in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA’s) central regional championship meet in Waverly, Iowa, where they hope to qualify for the national meet in Winneconne, Wisconsin the following week.
“The goal for Saturday is to qualify for the national meet, where we would like to crack the top 10 or 15,” Schmaedeke said.
Schmaedeke knows a thing or two about winning himself. He was recently honored with his third straight MIAC “Coach of the Year” award.
You can find out more information about the men’s cross country team and all Piper athletics teams on the website, or follow them on Facebook.