It's the second chance that HU Men's Cross Country Coach Paul Schmaedeke was hoping for ... and one that was earned for a body of work during the season. The Piper men found out Sunday they received an at-large bid to run at the NCAA Division III meet this Saturday in Winneconne, Wis. Hamline will join St. Olaf, which barely edged them out for second place at the Central Regional meet Saturday as the only MIAC representatives at the meet.
The Pipers earned their bid based on a terrific regular season that included winning their third straight MIAC title. In that race, Hamline finished 2-3-4 to outpoint the Oles. At the Central Regional race Saturday in Waverly, Iowa, HU earned a second and third place finish, courtesy of Jack Deichert and Ellis Richardson. But their next best placing was 37th ... and that was enough for St. Olaf to edge them by 20 points for second place, the final automatic qualifying spot.
Hamline had been ranked first or second in the Central Regional poll and in the Top 25 in the country all year among all Division III teams. The close finish in Iowa plus the impressive credentials during meets in September and October was more than enough to give them the at-large berth.
For the complete list of teams going to Wisconsin as well as other key information about the meet, click here.