Sat, Nov. 19, 2011 - [Men's Cross Country]
2011 NCAA Division III Championships RESULTS
Making their second appearance as a team in the NCAA Division III Championships, the Loras College men's cross country team posted a 25thplace finish at Lake Breeze Golf Club in Winneconne, Wisconsin on Saturday.
Led by the lone senior in the lineup, Dan McDermott, the Duhawks posted seven lifetime PRs on their way to their top 25 finish.
McDermott's time broke the 25 minute mark and was good enough to put him in sixth on Loras' all-time list – completing Saturday's course in 24:53.
"He should be proud of himself," head coach Bob Schultz said on Saturday night. "I know I am. He's been a great leader of this team."
McDermott was atop Loras' list throughout the 2011 season and he was pleased with the Duhawks' efforts in the championships.
"We had our best race at the meet that mattered the most," McDermott proclaimed Saturday. "I'm happy we all had PRs…we ran seven great races today, and I felt like I left it all on the course."
"I thought we executed our race plan perfectly," said the 2011 Iowa Conference coach of the year.
Each of the five Duhawks whose places went into the team score broke the 26 minute mark. At the two mile mark, there packs of overzealous runners being passed by a group of Duhawks.
Jerry Olp finished 82ndin 25:22 and Austin Steil was 133rdin 25:45. That duo joined McDermott on the All-Region team last weekend.
Freshmen Rob Howe and Steve Loran were 4-5 for the Duhawks in 25:52 and 25:58.
Just steps behind were freshman Ty Wittman (26:02) and junior Chris Higgins (26:04).
"I felt we represented the Central region well," McDermott said.
The future of the Duhawk team is bright, as McDermott is the only departure for the 2012 squad.
"All seven guys got in the chute at competitive spots," noted Schultz. "I thought our freshmen all handled the pressures that come with a race of this magnitude. There's definitely reason for optimism – our seventh guy beat the seventh on three of the four teams who earned trophies."
"This program took a huge step in the right direction," McDermott added. "It is encouraging, for sure. The future is bright."
The present has a nice glow to it, too.