During the week, HU Men's CC coach Paul Schmaedeke said he told Devin Monson (Sr., Thompson, ND) he didn't necessarily have to finish first (as he did last year) for the Pipers to win their third straight men's title. If Monson simply ran a good race, Schmaedeke said he would be happy. Indeed, Monson clipped 12 seconds off his winning time of a year ago, running the 8K course in 25:26 but finished in second place.
As it turned out, though, he had plenty of company near the top of the pack as teammates Jack Deichert (Sr., Golden Valley, Minn.) and Ellis Richardson (Sr., Shoreview, Minn.) came in third and fourth respectively. Colin Rogers (Jr. River Falls, Wis.) was 16th and Brendan Ruter (Jr., New London, Minn.) 20th. That added up to 45 points, nine better than second place St. Olaf, making the Pipers became the first team since St. John's did it in the late 1990s to win a third straight MIAC team title.
All week long, Schmaedeke had been talking about the team just needed to have everybody stay close. You can't do much better than have your top four runners beat their times of a year ago and have your first three runners come in 2-3-4. "It was our best effort of the year," he said. "Everybody contributed. There's a lot of emotion involved in a race like this. But we had a lot of guys who stepped up and did some special things."
Deichert moved up one place from a year ago and knocked 46 seconds off his 2010 time, coming in at 25:27.. Richardson made a big jump, moving from 15th last year while knocking off a minute over his 2010 time with a clocking of 25:28. Rogers, who had been battling an injury, bettered his 2010 effort by a second.
It was the sort of balance a team needs to win a title. The second place Oles came in 6-8-10-11-19, chopping off 25 points from their total of last year. But it wasn't enough against a team that has been rated No. 1 or 2 in their Central region and in the Top 25 in the country all season.
Here is a link to the MIAC website for more information on the race.
Next Friday, Hamline travels to Collegeville to run in the Fall Finale at St. John's.