Running on the big stage; Norse to nationals
Monday, November 12, 2012 8:20 AM
The Luther men's and women's cross country teams have both earned at-large bids to the NCAA Division III National Championship.
The National Championship is Saturday, Nov. 17, at LaVern Gibson Course in Terre Haute, Ind. The men's race is at 10 a.m., with the women running at 11 a.m.
Men's meet at regionals
Luther finished third Saturday at the Central Regional, earning an at-large bid to nationals. Host St. Olaf won the team title, posting a point total of 70 points. Iowa Conference champions Central College finished second with 75, followed by the Norse with 144. St. John's University was fourth at 155.
The Norse were led by Decorah grad Marty Mitchell and Austin Bauer, who both earned all-region honors by finishing in the top-35 from the field of 185 runners. Mitchell placed fifth, clocking in at 25:43.8 on the 8k course. Bauer was 13th with a time of 26:08.9. This is the second time both runners have earned all-region honors.
Completing Luther's top five were Alex Rigdon (36th - 26:30.5), Tyler Broadwell (38th - 26:33.7) and Jackson Espeset (52nd - 26:54.9).
Matt Rubins (59th - 27:04.4) and Logan Langley (63rd - 27:10.50) completed the top-seven.
Grant Wintheisen of St. Olaf won the individual title in 25:20.9.
This is Luther's 27th appearance at the national championships and first since 2010.
Luther ran to a third-place finish at the NCAA III Central Regional, hosted by St. Olaf College Saturday. The Norse posted a team total of 121 points, finishing behind Wartburg College with 72 and St. Olaf with 95.
Individually, four Norse earned all-region honors after placing in the top-35 from the field of 187 runners.
Tricia Serres led this group with a fourth place finish clocked at 22:06.7 on the 6K course. She was followed by Decorah's Christina Storlie (15th - 23:00), Jayne Cole (26th - 23:20.6) and Maggie Pierson (33rd - 23:36.4). Storlie became only the fourth runner in Luther history to earn this honor for a third time.
Lauren Mordini (38th - 23:50), Annie Klepper (71st - 24:31.3) and Lauren Stokke (76th - 24:35.0) completed the Norse seven.
Luther is making its third consecutive trip to the national finale and 13th in school history.