GREENWOOD, IN – Manchester University’s men’s cross country team has been selected as the front runner to win the 2013 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship. In a poll of the ten HCAC head coaches, the Spartans received 99 total points and nine first place votes.
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology will strive for its first title, as the Engineers totaled 89 points and the final first place vote. Franklin College placed third in the poll with 81 points, while Defiance College finished fourth with 70 points. Bluffton University finished fifth with 57 points and was followed by Hanover College (52 points), Anderson University (42), Earlham College (30), College of Mount St. Joseph (16), and Transylvania University (14).
Manchester captured its fourth consecutive HCAC cross country championship last fall and returns five runners that earned First-Team All-HCAC honors. Senior Curtis Nordmann (Bourbon, Ind./Triton) placed 2nd overall at the conference meet last fall, while seniors Jon Caffarelli (Lansing, Ill./Marion Catholic), Chris Lafree (South Bend, Ind./Riley), and Michael Stocker (Yorktown, Ind./H.S.) placed sixth, seventh, and eighth. Senior Clayton Harlan (Terre Haute, Ind./South) also earned All-HCAC honors with an 11th place finish. The five runners will strive to pace the Spartans at the HCAC championship in November.
Rose-Hulman finished second behind Manchester last season at the conference meet. The Engineers return a First-Team All-HCAC member and an honorable mention selection from last season. Junior Stuart West (La Porte, Ind./H.S.) earned a 12th place finish to lead the Engineers effort at the championship event. Senior Andrew Thompson (Mundelein, Ill./Vernon Hills) will try to earn First-Team All-HCAC honors this fall after earning honorable mention honors in 2012.
Franklin College placed third at last year’s meet after a fourth place finish in 2011. The blue and gold will turn to HCAC MVP Kris Sandlin (Scottsburg, Ind./H.S.) to pace the squad once again. Sandlin earned the individual title at the 2012 meet and will look for a second consecutive title this fall.
The 2013 HCAC Men’s Cross Country Championship is set for Saturday, November 2 at Defiance College.
The 2013 men’s cross country season is set to begin on August 31.
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