It’s the race the Pipers have been aiming for ever since they met for the first time in late August. If Hamline is to successfully defend its Men’s Cross Country title this today at St. Paul's Como Golf Course, it will because they put together a balanced effort.
Devin Monson (Sr., Thompson, N.D.) has a chance to become the first two-time men’s winner in over a decade. But veteran coach Paul Schmaedeke says an individual victory is not the key to success Saturday. “I’ve told Devin this already – if he runs a great race and finishes, say, third, we’ll be happy,” he said. “This is a very talented field. We need to have all our guys continue to progress as well as they have all year. If they do so – and stay together – we’ll do fine.”
The men's race is scheduled to start at 3:15 p.m.
Such was the case at the shorter St. Catherine’s Invitational earlier this month when Monson, who also won the prestigious Roy Griak race, finished first followed by Jack Deichert (Sr., Golden Valley, Minn.) who was second. Ellis Richardson (Sr. Shoreview, Minn.) was a fourth, barely nipping teammate Colin Rogers (Jr., River Falls, Wis.).
If that quartet is near the top again (Deichert was fourth, Rogers fifth and Richardson was 15th in last year’s MIAC meet), it will be a wonderful afternoon for the Pipers. “It’s important these guys stay close to each other,” Schmaedeke said. “I have no doubt they will compete well.”
In addition to the aforementioned foursome, there is other depth, too. For the Pipers to repeat, they know they need a solid effort from Chris Reisdorfer (Jr., Adrian, Minn.), Brendon Ruter (Jr., new London, Minn.) and Nate Dobbins (Jr., Rochester, Minn.), who was 23rd a year ago. All three have shown steady improvement heading into the conference’s biggest race.
The Pipers have been ranked first or second in their Central region all season. They have also been rated in the Top 25 in Division III all year as well. None of that matters this Saturday, though. Schmaedeke expects stiff competition from St. Olaf, St. John’s and St. Thomas. “I really do think it will be a dogfight,” he said. “It’s what we have aiming for all year. If we take care of what we can control, we’ll be fine.”
For a look at how the conference website has written up the race ... as well as previews of Hamline's competition Saturday, click here.
For a look at highlights of the race (courtesy of Webcast America), click here.