When you finish the season higher than projected, you have every reason to be happy. Which is why HU men's CC coach Paul Schmaedeke was smiling Saturday afternoon when his team finished 17th in a field of 32 teams at the NCAA Championships in Winneconne, Wis.
The Pipers' total of 422 points was a mere 21 points out of 15th place and only 80 away from the top 10. "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," Schmaedeke said. "We beat the teams that beat us (in the NCAA regional) last week. That's a great way to end up."
Hamline finished ahead of Nebraska Wesleyan and conference rival St. Olaf, the two teams that defeated them in that regional last weekend in Waverly, Iowa. Nebraska Wesleyan, rated first in the NCAA Central Regional, was 21st and the Oles were 23rd.
As has often been the case, it was the senior co-captains who led the way for HU.
Jack Deichert finished in 20th place overall (15th in placement), negotiating the 8K course in a time of 24:37.97, to lead the HU contingent. This earned Jack a place on the All-American team. Devin Monson came in 68th (50th ) with a time of 25:04.34. Ellis Richardson was 98th (73rd )at 25:16.74. Colin Rogers was the next Piper across the line at 174th place (131st, 25:44.53). Nate Dobbins was the fifth scorer, ending at 201st place (153rd, 25:58.74). Chris Reisdorfer (216th, 165th) and Brendan Ruter (243rd, 190th) rounded out the seven-runner squad.
In all, 279 runners competed in the race.
The NCAA race marked the end for CC 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, HU was 23rd. Last year, the Pipers finished 22nd.
For a complete listing of all the men's results, click here.