WILMINGTON, Ohio -- North Central (Ill.) hailed victorious Saturday winning its 16th cross country championship in school history.
After a traumatic end to the 2013 championship, the Cardinals returned ready to work this season, and it proved to pay off. The sting of last season's finish as runners-up to St. Olaf was the motivation going into this season.North Central started the season ranked second in the polls but moved into first by Week 2, and never let up. The Cardinals pressed forward, winning their seventh consecutive season as regional title.
During the pre-national race, the runners of North Central finished first, second, third, forth and sixth. A total of ten runners finished in the top twenty.
“Your goal throughout the entire year is to see yourself take steps and get better along the way, and when you get to the last meet of the year your goal is to run your best race of the year,” North Central coach Al Carius said.
Carius was voted coach of the year in the Midwest.
“Our internal goal this year was to win the national championship,” said Travis Morrison, who finished seventh with a time of 24:03.4. “Came in after a rough loss last year losing by two points, and we definitely wanted to overcome that and win.”
Junior Aron Sebhat followed finished twelfth at 24:13.75.
“We are just bonded by love ... love for each other, love for this program and love for Al. I just think that feeling of love is what takes us through those tough times and gets us these national championships,” Sebhat said about the success about his team.