MONTEVALLO, Ala. - Armstrong State University junior Henning Schein became the first Pirate men's cross country runner to advance to the NCAA Division II National Championships, finishing fifth in Saturday morning's NCAA Southeast Regionals at the University of Montevallo. As a team, the Pirates finished 16th out of 24 teams.
Schein placed fifth overall with a time of 30:37.61 over the 10k course, smashing the all-time 10k record at Armstrong State by more than two minutes and also setting a personal best. The previous school record time of 32:41 was set by Paul McRae in 1999.
Adam Craig of Mount Olive finished first individually with a time of 29:49.03, with Timothy Asis of Young Harris placing second in a time of 30:02.40. Jonathan Dahlke of Mount Olive was third at 30:04.71 and David Jones of Mars Hill was fourth at 30:32.25, ahead of Schein. Mount Olive (57) and Mars Hill (77) finished 1-2 in the team standings, meaning that Craig, Dahlke and Jones advanced to nationals with their teams. Asis and Schein will advance as individuals to the NCAA Division II Men's Cross Country Championships in Saint Leo, Fla., on Saturday, November 19th.
By virtue of his fifth-place finish - the best finish in an NCAA regional by an Armstrong State men's cross country runner - Schein also earns NCAA All-Region runner honors for a third consecutive season. The Vellmar, Germany, native joins three Armstrong State women's runners - Gabi Hauck (1994), Patty Kaplan (1995) and Nikki Garland (1997) - as the only Pirates to represent the school at the NCAA National Cross Country Championships.
"There's no doubt that Henning is a gifted runner," Armstrong State head coach Michael Sergi said. "But his talent lies in his work ethic and attitude. It's easy to improve when things are easy. He's focused on his goals and is committed to remaining consistent to his success and the success of our program, even through adversity. I'm happy for him and proud of him. We still have two weeks of work ahead of us."
As a team, the Pirates finished the race with 371 points, placing 16th. In addition to Schein's fifth-place finish, junior Dylan Smith finished 58th in a time of 32:58.13, while freshman Cody Reid finished 89th in a time of 33:53.15. Freshman Mac Gibbs ran 111th in a time of 34:30.86, with freshman Caleb Watson finishing 139th in a time of 35:38.51 and freshman George Dyer finishing 150th in a time of 36:59.25. Overall, 169 runners competed in the regionals.
"We made great progress as the year went along," Sergi said. "We finished the season with momentum and everyone surrounding our program is talking about the future. The team certainly sees it and is excited for what is to come for us."