Runners race at nationals

Prior to the Division III national championship, the biggest race of the men’s cross country team’s season, head coach Dario Donatelli expressed his confidence and faith in his team. “The team feels like we are establishing a tradition where going to nationals will be an annual event,” Donatelli said. “Our goal is top 20. Last year we were eighth, but our top three [runners] graduated.” The Tartans surpassed their coach’s expectations to finish with an impressive 12th place out 32 teams at Saturday’s championship held at Voice of America Park in West Chester, Ohio.

Calvin College won the overall team title with 37 points. New York University finished in second place with 92 points, followed by Allegheny College with 212. Carnegie Mellon finished with 329 points.

In the 8K race, sophomore Brian Harvey led the team with a time of 27:59, finishing 46th overall. Behind Harvey, sophomore Breck Fresen finished second for the team and 53rd overall with a time of 28:04.

Senior captain Geoff Misek and first-year Dario Donatelli finished the race 74th and 83rd overall with times of 28:18 and 28:23, respectively.

“As team captain I’m very proud of the team’s performance today,” Misek said. “We ran much better than anyone anticipated, much of which is owed to Breck’s clutch performance.”

In fifth place for the team, junior Jason Jura crossed the finish line with a time of 29:21. Sophomores Mike Haley and Ryan Anderson finished with times of 30:34 and 30:58, respectively.

“Obviously the competition was the best Division III had to offer, so we had to step up and run a great team race,” Anderson said. “It was an important time to show what we were truly capable of after a season of good training.”

The men’s team will end yet another successful cross country season on a high note. The Tartans can look forward to an even better season next year because all of their top 10 runners will return to the team.

“We had a great season after losing three runners, one of which came in fifth last year [at nationals], so of course I’m proud. We were ranked 23rd going in, and came out 12th, so we ran well,” Anderson said. “It’s all about Coach [Donatelli], ‘The Godfather.’ ”