Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Michigan Tech places 24th at NCAA Division II Championships

Michigan Tech places 24th at NCAA Division II Championships
SAINT LEO, Fla. - Michigan Tech men's cross country ended an impressive season with a 24th place team finish at the NCAA Division II Championships at the Abbey Course in Saint Leo, Florida Saturday morning. The Huskies fell short of a top-10 finish but had bright spots competing against the nation's best runners. Freshman Drew Kolodge finished 66th in 32:10.5 and was Tech's top scorer.
"My mental approach is confidence and knowing where I should be in the race and following through with it," Kolodge said. "Remembering all the work I did to get here and having confidence in myself was the most important thing."
Fellow Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference school Grand Valley State University won their second NCAA Championship at 43 points in the men's 10K. Isaac Harding (29:58.3) and Tanner Chada (30:07.1) took first and second place individually for the Lakers. Adams State (84 points), Colorado School of Mines (123), Augustana (222), and UC-Colorado Springs (254) rounded out the top five. 
"It was a tough day for our guys out there overall, and not our best," said head coach Kristina Owen. "We'll take some time to digest and reflect, but there's not any single factor that we can attribute it immediately. The silver lining is that our young runners did pretty well, and got a lot of great experience racing at this level. Back in August, our men's team got together and set some pretty lofty goals together. They had a heck of a season and hit most of them. Our team finish at Nationals will be added motivation to come back even stronger next year."
The Huskies competed in 70-degree temperatures and 74-percent Florida humidity on a hilly, open golf course. Kolodge (Clay, Michigan) followed his 27th place finish at the Midwest Region 10K with the team's top time Saturday. He appeared in five events this fall. Two-time all-region runner and Houghton native Clayton Sayen finished 113th (32:55.0).
"I'm incredibly proud of how Drew ran today," said Owen. "He stepped up to be our top runner, which is fantastic for a walk on freshmen in his second 10k ever. Clayton ran into issues and started fading, well short of the runner we know he is. We'll take some time to diagnose and make adjustments, and I know we'll be able to take a step forward to the outdoor track and field season.
After Kolodge, freshman Samuel Lange crossed 94th (32:37.1). Sophomore Nick McKenzie placed 141st (33:13.8). Freshman Henry Snider took 172nd (33:52.9) and senior Luke Moore came in 199th (34:56.2).

"Today's race was definitely a big challenge," Lange said. "They take everyone around the country that's around the same speed and throw them into the same race. This one was challenging due to hills on the course and the heat and humidity in the second half, so there was a lot of carnage out there. Everyone here is at their peak so there's a lot of pure competition."

The Huskies came into Saturday's event ranked No. 17 in the nation. Tech finished 13th at the 2019 NCAA Division II National Championships in Sacramento California in their first NCAA National appearance. 

"It's was heartbreaking to watch our team with our ability to have a difficult day," commented assistant coach Robert Young. "I'm still very proud of what we accomplished this season. We will be back."
Men's Top Results
1st - Grand Valley State - 43 points
2nd - Adams State - 84 points
3rd - Colorado School of Mines - 123 points
4th - Augustana (SD) - 222 points
Men's Top Individuals
1st - Isaac Harding (GVSU) - 29:58.3
2nd - Tanner Chada (GVSU) - 30:07.1
3rd - CarLee Stimpfel (Saginaw Valley) - 30:09.0
4th - Dylan Ko (Colo. School of Mines) - 30:19.3
5th - Isaiah Rodarte (Adams State) - 30:26.3