Edwardson qualifies for nationals, Storm 11th in region
WAVERLY, Iowa - Ryan Edwardson extended his already successful senior campaign by punching his ticket to the NCAA Divison III Cross Country National Championships with an eighth-place finish at the Central Region Championships on Saturday.
Simpson placed 11th as a team, the program's highest regional finish since taking sixth in 1995.
"Our men's team had their best race of the season, hands down," first-year head coach Heath Moenck said. "Our seniors really provided great leadership, and to place that close to the top-ten in this region is a great testament to their abilities."
Edwardson finished the 8-kilometer course in 25:29, earning the region's last automatic qualifying bid to the national meet. After making the NCAA Championships a year ago, the senior from Spencer, Iowa becomes Simpson's first two-time national qualifier since Dave Halferty went in 1987 and 1989.
"Hats off to Ryan for once again qualifying for the national meet," Moenck said. "Hard work and dedication pays off in this sport and Ryan is reaping the rewards."
Sophomore Mitchell Davis led Simpson's chase pack, finishing 50th (26:36). Senior Matt Stone finished 73rd (27:01) and junior Jake Sutton was 75th (27:03). Junior John Warnke ran to an 85th place finish (27:14). All ran great races and finished higher than in 2010.
Simpson's 291 points was just two points behind 10th-place finisher and Iowa Conference rival Wartburg (289). Nebraska Wesleyan won the team race with 93 points, followed by St. Olaf in second with 107 points. Ben Sathre of St. Thomas won the individual title with a time of 25:35.
Edwardson will travel to the NCAA Division III National Championships, hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh next Saturday, Nov. 19. Race time is set for Noon.