Contact: Mark Albanese, Director of Sports Communication
SALEM, Ore. - Brad Hodkinson won his second consecutive race on Saturday, capturing the individual title at the NCAA Division III West Region Championships and helping the Pacific Lutheran University men's cross country team to an eighth place finish at Bush Park.
"Brad ran a tremendous race today to win the West Region title," said Head Coach Adam Frye. "He put himself in a great spot early and was able to run away from the field in the second half. It will be fun to see what he can do at nationals. I was pleased our team improved our finish three places from last season. With all our scorers returning for next season I believe we can continue our rise within the region."
Hodkinson bested the 122-competitor field after traversing the 8,000-meter layout in 25 minutes, 40.4 seconds, owning a 7.7 second gap on runner-up Joshua Sealand of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges. The victory was Hodkinson's second consecutive after hoisting the individual title two weeks ago at the Northwest Conference Championships. The sophomore's victory punches his ticket to the NCAA Division III Championships next weekend in Louisville, Kentucky.
"I was pleased with the performance by all my competitors and teammates at the race this weekend," said Hodkinson. "The course conditions were poor, and the mud was a real challenge. Today's race wasn't about who can be the fastest but rather who can be the toughest. I think as a young and growing team we put forth a strong effort and will continue to get better each year."
Kyle Rapacz was the next Lute across the finish line, placing 47th in 27:47.6. Chris Nussbaum and Bo Frohock placed back-to-back in 61st and 62nd, respectively while Porter Kreier rounding out the scoring five by placing 66th. Nussbaum clocked a 28:09.5 in his first regionals meet with Frohock hot on his heels, stopping the clock in 28:10.3. Kreier crossed the line in 28:19.6 for the young Lutes as the top five finishers were all underclassmen.
"I was proud of the way the Lutes competed today," said Head Coach Adam Frye. "The mud and hills on the course provided significant challenge. Our runners met those challenges with a positive attitude and competed very well."
Pacific Lutheran tallied 226 points in the team standings, placing eighth among the 17-team field and placing six points shy of seventh place University of California Santa Cruz. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps won the team title with 43 points while Occidental College was second with 81 points, both earning bids to the NCAA Championships. Willamette University was the only NWC institution to finish ahead of the Lutes, placing fifth with 157 points.