NORTHFIELD, Minn.-- A bit of North Central history was made as the Rams earned a 27th place team finish at the NCAA Central Region Championship on Saturday. The result was the first team score in school history at a Division III regional meet and NCU posted their lowest team average time in the final event of the 2017 season.
Freshman Kedric Branter (Huron, S.D./James Valley Christian) concluded his outstanding rookie year with a 127th place finish, just one second off a career best mark with a time of 27:41.9. Junior Kaleb Gunderson (Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) also ran a great race to finish 155th in a time of 28:47.6, the second best time of his career and the first time since his freshman year to go under 29 minutes.
Sophomore Austin Hagemeister (Maple Grove, Minn./Maple Grove) was next in 174th place with senior Daniel Morgenstern (Apple Valley, Minn./School of Enviromental Studies) back in 177 place with a season best time of 31:08.3. Sophomore Brody Elg (Virginia, Minn./Virginia) finished the scoring with a season best mark of 32:36.1 which earned 182nd place.
The Rams team average time of 30:12.0 was the best of the year, improving by eight seconds over their previous low posted at the UMAC Championships two weeks ago.
Loras College (Dubuque, Iowa) was the team champion followed by host Carleton College. Loras and Carleton earned the region's automatic berths into the NCAA Division III National Championship while third and fourth place teams Wartburg College (Waverly, Iowa) and Nebraska Wesleyan University (Lincoln, Neb.) earned at-large bids. Mark Fairley of Central College (Pella, Iowa) was the individual champion.