NORTHFIELD, Minn. -- The Carleton College men’s cross country team finished fourth at the NCAA Central Region Championships. Leading the way was sophomore Hart Hornor (So./Seattle, Wash./Roosevelt), who placed 11th overall with a time of 25:26.26 and automatically qualified for next weekend’s NCAA national championship meet.
Hornor posted a time of 25:26.26 on the eight-kilometer course. Jonah Barry (So./Madison, Wis./Madison West) crossed the line at 25:37.1, good for 20th. Carleton’s next two finishers, seniors Marcus Huderle (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) and Jacob Hoerger (Sr./Chapel Hill, N.C./Chapel Hill), also picked up All-Region recognition by finishing among the top 35 runners in the 181-racer field. Huderle posted a time of 25:57.12 to place 29th, and Hoerger ranked 32nd at 26:03.57.
Joe Haase Madison, Wis./Madison West) not only rounded out the scoring for Carleton but was also the third underclassmen in the group as he ran 47th in 26:27.07.
“Jacob Hoerger and Joe Haase had the best meets of their careers,” said Carleton head coach Dave Ricks. “Hart is in as an individual and he really deserved it based on his body of work this season.”
The top two teams—and the top seven individuals not on a team going to nationals—at each of the country’s eight regional meets secure automatic qualification to the NCAA Championships. Selections of the 16 other at-large teams will be announced on Sunday. By placing fourth in the region, the Knights sit on the bubble and will have to wait to see if they will join Hornor at the NCAA Championships.
Racing in cold and wet conditions, the Knights were able to stay connected with the leaders for most of the race and finished with a team score of 139. Host St. Olaf College won the team competition with 51 points, followed closely by Central College (Iowa) with 61 points to grab the other automatic qualifier. Luther (127 points) was third with Carleton narrowly edging Loras (140 points) for fifth place. All five teams entered today’s meet nationally ranked by the USTFCCCA, sitting at spots No. 3, 10, 28, 33 and 22, respectively.
“It's just been a dream season,” said Ricks. “So we are hoping that we get good news from the NCAA selection committee tomorrow.
An announcement of the full 32-team field plus 56 individuals is scheduled to be made by 2 p.m. CST on the championships meet website.