Cross country teams succeed in NCAA Championship

Lancers take home third and fifth place in DII.

Both the men and women’s cross country teams made history as both teams captured their highest placement ever in the NCAA Division II Championship.

The women earned third place and the men took fifth. The Lancers also made PacWest Conference history becoming the first teams to finish in the top-5 rankings in the conference’s history.

“Each year we just keep moving up; I’m pleased with that. They came away with a trophy and battled really well, so I’m just really proud of them,” said Dr. Ben Gall, head coach of cross country.

Both teams set lofty goals for themselves heading into the season and said they felt they achieved them.

“Our goal was to be competitive and go out there and have as much fun as we can,” Gall said.

Both teams significantly improved from their rankings last season as the women rose from ninth place to third place and the men jumped from 15th place to fifth place.

Their hard work and dedication has led to vast improvements for both teams and has resulted in success. The Lancers recognized how far they have come since last season and expressed how proud they were of their performance in this season.

“We just really started believing in each other as a team since (the Lewis University Cross Country Crossover in) Chicago and that just really helped us out a lot,” said McMarshall Hartzenburg, freshman psychology major.

The Lancers battled all season against top-tier competition and they came out on top.

Many of the athletes said they never felt nervous, knowing they were well-equipped to win their meets.

“Nerves are not a problem; we have a team that isn’t impacted by nerves,” Gall said. “We are much more confident and mature this season.”

Many of the runners reflected on some of their favorite moments from their record-breaking season.

“My favorite moment of the season was definitely winning (the PacWest) Conference (Championship). It just felt good (to win),” said Emeline Delanis, junior business administration major.

Both teams had one of their most successful seasons ever setting multiple PacWest Conference records, placing high in the NCAA Division II Championship and bringing home many individual awards. The record-setting season was an accomplishment for them to build on for seasons to come.

About Ryley Collom

Staff Writer

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