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Mueller, Dodge attain All-America status in 10K at NCAA Championships

May 24, 2019 at 12:02 am
By Oliver Wolyniec '19
Lucas Mueller (left) and Tris Dodge
Lucas Mueller (left) and Tris Dodge

GENEVA, Ohio – On day one of the 2019 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships, sophomore Lucas Mueller (St. Paul, Minn./Nova Classical Academy) and senior Tris Dodge (Oakland, Calif./College Prep) both delivered All-America performances in the 10,000-meter run for the Carleton College men’s track and field team.

Mueller was blocked off the starting line and sat 16th out of 20 runners in the early going. He was pinned to the inside and had to eventually drop back to 19th on the fourth lap so he could shift to the outside and begin his move toward the front.

Around the 2,500-meter mark, he and five other runners broke away from the field, forming a tight pack that remained together until there was 1,000 meters remaining. At that point, Mueller, UW-Eau Claire senior Darin Lau, and North Central College senior Dhruvil Patel separated from the remainder of the lead pack.

With 300 meters still to go, Mueller and Patel, the defending 10K champion and 2018 cross country national champion, made it a two-man race as they ran stride-for-stride down the final straightaway. Patel broke through in the end, edging Mueller by only 0.21 second. Mueller posted a stellar time of 30:14.26, earning him his third All-America award of the 2018-19 academic year. (SEE CHART AT BOTTOM OF RELEASE)

Dodge, on the other hand used a different race structure. Racing for the final time in his collegiate career, he was content to run his pace and actually sat 20th—last in the field by a sizeable distance—for the 3,000-plus meters. He made his move nine loops into the 25-lap race and reeled in the chase pack. By the time Dodge completed his next lap, he had moved from 20th up to 15th, and only 400 meters later, he had climbed all the way to seventh.

Dodge stayed near the front of the second pack of runners for several laps, shifting between seventh and ninth places. He eventually settled into eighth place and opened up a sizable gap between him and the ninth-place runner. Dodge crossed the finish line in 30:59.36, good for 8th place and All-America recognition—a fitting way to wrap up his Carleton running career.

It was not that simple, however. During the race, the Carleton senior had stumbled on the track curbing, prompting race officials to review the possibly disqualifying incident. That process lasted 10 excruciating minutes, but in the end, the officials declared that no infraction had occurred, and Dodge took his place on the podium and joyfully clutched his first All-America award.

Matthew Wilkinson (So./Minnetonka, Minn.) also excelled for the Knights on day one of the national meet, as he competed in the 3000-meter steeplechase preliminaries. The sophomore made quite the statement, turning in the second-fastest preliminary time (9:11.43) out of 20 runners to advance to the event finals, where he will also have an opportunity to secure All-America honors.

So far, this trio of Knights has accounted for six All-America awards during 2018-19, and they could add to that total on Saturday, May 25. Wilkinson will compete in the steeplechase finals at 11:45 a.m. ET, while Mueller will follow suit in the 5,000-meter run at 3:30 p.m. ET.

2018-19 All-America Awards for Carleton distance runners

Lucas Mueller
17th at 2018 NCAA Cross Country Championships
6th in 3,000m at 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships
2nd in 10,000m at 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships

Matthew Wilkinson
28th at 2018 NCAA Cross Country Championships
6th in 5,000m at 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships

Tris Dodge
8th in 10,000m at 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships