No. 1 North Central (Ill.) sets out to defend title, others chase
No. 1 North Central (Ill.)
Coming off of two consecutive NCAA Division III National Championships, North Central (Ill.) enters the 2013 campaign facing high expectations from the returners.
Senior John Crain earned All-American honors and was the Cardinals' top finisher (sixth) at last year's championships, and is the only North Central (Ill.) runner to have competed in each of the past two national meets. Classmate Roger Klein placed 44th at last year's championships.
Also returning are 2012 national championship veterans Tim Hird, Troy Kelleherand and Ryan Root. Hird is a two-time championship participant, having competed in the 2010 meet. Matt Brinkmeier also brings championship experience from the 2010 and 2011 events.
The 2013 NCAA Division III National Cross Country Championship will be contested Nov. 23 at Hanover College.
No. 2 Haverford
The Fords earned 269 points and one first-place vote to tuck in behind national leader and returning champions North Central (Ill.)
Haverford brings back a quartet of all-conference runners in 2013 led by returning individual champion Christopher Stadler. Joel Christian and Avi Bregman join Stadler as returning first-teamers while Brian Sokas earned second-team honors last fall.
Haverford kicks off their season with the Alumni Race on Sept. 7.
No. 3 Wisconsin-La Crosse
Wisconsin-La Crosse will go for the calendar-year sweep with three consecutive NCAA DIII titles dating back to their indoor and outdoor national championships during the 2013 track & field season.
The Eagles return their third through fifth scorers and five total national team members from their fourth-place squad in 2012 including junior Nate Routhier (42nd) and seniors Jacob Peterson (70th) and Garrett Kerska (98th).