North Central Men Win 13th National Title; Lynchburg's Ricky Flynn Individual Champion
By Norm Weber
CLEVELAND – Lynchburg’s (Va.) Ricky Flynn won the men’s NCAA Division III cross country championship today here at the Highland Park Golf Course in 25:09.8, in the national meet hosted by Baldwin Wallace University in nearby Berea.
“I won the race in the last mile; it was uphill to the finish,” Flynn said. “It was intimidating running against him (Peter Kosgei-2008 Individual Champion from Hamilton (N.Y.)) but when I saw him ease up in the final mile, I just said I'm going for it.”
Kosgei tapered off significantly during the final mile and finished 43rd overall.
North Central (Ill.) won the team championship with 50 points, with Williams finishing second, followed by Allegheny (Pa.), NYU, Cortland State, Geneseo State, Wash. U (St. Louis), Haverford (Pa.), Wisconsin-Platteville, and Wisconsin- La Crosse.
"These young men have character; they have different ingredients and they mixed them together to win a championship,” said North Central Head Coach Al Carius. “The process started many years ago with these seniors. I knew we had something when they first arrived here. I just had to put it all together. They had faith in the system and faith in their teammates."
Mike Spain, a junior, was North Central’s highest finisher, coming in second overall behind Flynn in 25:32.2.
“I did not care about my personal finish, but was more focused on the team goal,” Spain said. “Our goal was to win the national championship. This is the best feeling possible. We have so much pride in our program. We felt we owed it to the college to bring home a title.”
Finishing behind Flynn and Spain in the top 10 were Williams’ Edgar Kosgey, St. Lawrence’s Dan Ramsey, Wisconsin-Platteville’s Jason Garvens, North Central’s Ryan Carrigan, Brandeis’ Paul Norton, Tufts’ Jesse Faller, Plattsburgh’s Mike Heymann and Bethel’s Dan Greeno.
In the team race, North Central’s Nate Hird finished 10th, Neal Klein 15th and Kyle Brady 17th. In case any one of the five slipped, runners No. 6 and 7 were right behind with Nathan Rutz taking 20th and Sean Carslon 25th. All seven North Central runners earned All-American status.
It was North Central’s 13th team national championship in cross country, but first in 10 years. The margin of victory (131 points) was the largest in the history of the Division III men's national meet.