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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Men follow youth to improvement at Regionals

<rleton men’s cross country team ended its season by placing 12th out of 26 teams at the NCAA Central Region Meet on November 13, 2010. On a wet, blustery day in Waverly, Iowa, the Knights faced off against teams from Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska. Grinnell took home the team title with 97 points. Luther clinched the other automatic Nationals bid by placing second with 133 points. The top two teams in the region automatically qualify for the Division 3 National Cross Country Meet. Ben Sathre of St. Thomas won the individual title in a time of 24:56.

Marcus Huderle ’14 led the Carls, finishing 36th in a time of 26:23. Huderle had the dubious distinction of missing all-region status by one place. He was also the second fastest freshman in the meet, however, so his teammates cut him some slack.

Second for the Carls was Bobby Davis ‘13, who finished 49th, in 26:33. Davis suffered his own misfortune, as Huderle accidentally cut him off in the last half mile of the race.

The Knights third through seventh runners ran together for most of the race, keying off each other for energy and finishing with a spread of only 14 seconds. Aaron Hirsh ’13, using a characteristically strong kick, was the next Carl across the line in 27:08. Six seconds later Josh Campbell ’13 finished in his best time of the season. Colin Sinclair ’11 closed out his final cross country race with a burst of speed thought long gone after months of high mileage.

Sinclair was closely followed by a freezing Jacob Hoerger ‘14, who was hoping to end the eight-kilometer race that much closer to his home state of North Carolina. Hoerger instead returned to a snowed in Northfield later that day. A few seconds later, a slightly sick Guthrie Cunningham ‘14 crossed the line in 27:22, closing out a remarkably consistent freshman season in which his face became a ubiquitous part of campus, appearing on doors, bulletin boards, and in bathrooms.

The difference between the Knights first and seventh runners was only 59 seconds.

Although several inches of snow fell in Northfield the night before the Regional Meet, the temperature never dipped below freezing in Waverly, leaving the course clear, but soggy in places. Strong winds also made the race challenging for runners. Carleton’s top seven included only one senior, but three sophomores and three freshmen.

Next year the Carls will return nearly all of their top runners and should regain their place as a contender in the conference and region. Carleton’s last Nationals appearance was three years ago when the race was held across the river at St. Olaf.

The Knights improved one place from last year’s 13th place Regionals finish. It was a particularly impressive achievement for the Knights as they were without their top returning runner from last year, John Davis ’11. Davis will be back for the indoor track season after recovering from a stress fracture.

Carleton’s cross country runners will be joined by sprinters, jumpers, throwers, hurdlers, and vaulters as indoor track season kicks off this month. The Knights’ first meet will be held the evening of Friday, January 21st at the Carleton Rec Center. The track team would love to see you there.

-Colin Sinclair is a member of the men’s cross country and track teams.

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