EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Sean Pengelly finished 13th overall at today’s NCAA Midwest Region Championships and has earned a spot at the NCAA Nationals in Louisville, Ky., on Dec. 6. The Michigan Tech men’s cross country team, which entered ranked No. 8 in the region, ran to form, finishing eighth of 34 teams in the region. The women took 18th of 35 Division II teams in the Midwest.
Pengelly raced through the 10-kilometer course in 31:05 to put himself in position to qualify for Nationals. The top four teams in each race advance to the nationals, while the top 3 individuals that are not on an advancing teams also qualify. Pengelly was the third individual on a non-qualifying team.
“Sean ran an awesome race to stay with the lead pack,” said Tech coach Joe Haggenmiller. “It’s an outstanding result, and it takes a lot of hard work and talent to get there.”
Jani Lane was the second Husky across the line in the men’s race with a 32:41 clocking and 51st place finish. Jason Saliga was just 12 seconds and 12 places back with a time of 32:53. Daniel Byrne (91st, 33:30) and Calvin Nitz (96th, 33:39) rounded out Tech’s top five. Daniel Kulas was just two spots and four seconds back of Nitz. Evan Krzyske (161st, 35:39) was the Huskies’ seventh finisher.
“Overall, I’m really proud of the men’s team in getting eighth,” said Haggenmiller. “We had a lot of guys really lay themselves out there—especially our three seniors in Jani, Calvin and Evan.”
Deedra Irwin led the Tech women’s team by finishing 30th in the field of 211. She covered the six-kilometer course in 21:56 and just missed out on all-region honors by five spots. Freshman Emily Vigil posted a time of 23:46 to claim 117th place. Sonja Hedblom was seven seconds and seven places back of Vigil with a 23:53. Elise Dombkowski and Amber Peabody also ran close together. Dombkowski finished 145th in 24:25 while Peabody was 149th in 24:34.
“Our women’s team had a good day considering the youth of our team,” said Haggenmiller. “I’m real proud of how hard all the athletes ran today. Deedra’s result is very respectable considering the depth of this field.”
Pengelly will be the lone representative from Michigan Tech at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Louisville. The event is part of the NCAA Division II Fall Sports Festival hosted by Bellarmine.
(Information Courtesy of MTU Athletics)