By Lucas Lusk, '19
POWELL, Ohio – The Albion College men's cross country team will have to wait until Sunday to see if it has qualified as a team for the NCAA Division III National Championships after finishing fifth out of 36 teams in the NCAA Great Lakes Regional, two places higher than last year.
"We played it smart the first half of the race," said Albion College Coach Derick Lawrence. "In the second half, the men moved up very well to give us a chance to qualify for nationals."
Sophomore Andrew Bill led the Britons with a seventh place finish in the 242 person field with a 25:36. Even if the Britons don't advance as a team, Bill solidified his case for the opportunity to run as an individual in the national meet with this performance.
"Andrew Bill had a fantastic race to finish top 10 in the region," said Lawrence. "He really fought to stick with the leaders and is fired up to get back on the national stage."
Junior Andrew Wittland (26:10) and sophomore Kiehl Smith (26:23) joined Bill as all-region award winners by finishing 23rd and 33rd, respectively. This is the most Individual all-region honorees earned by the Britons since 2003.
Zach Reynolds (26:50) and Adam Ditri (27:21) completed the Britons scoring.
"Everybody gave it their all, there were no regrets today," said Lawrence. "We return our entire top 10 next year so there is a lot of excitement for the future."
The Britons will find out on Sunday if it will be just Bill or the entire squad traveling to Elsah, Ill., next weekend for the NCAA Division III National Championships.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lucas Lusk is a psychology and business major from Naperville, Ill.