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Spartans set for nationals

Manchester University's men's cross squad competes for team and individual honors at the 2012 NCAA Division III Championships Saturday, Nov. 17.

Spartan Shorts: This weekend's national meet appearance for the Spartans is the program's third in the last four years. Coach Brian Cashdollar's squad earned an at-large berth after finishing fourth at the Great Lakes Regional Nov. 10. … In regards to all-time national meet history. MU's previous best team finish was a 26th place effort in 2006, and the best individual finish belonged to former Spartan standout Andy Williams who placed 85th that same year. … "I want to see our guys come out and run focused," Cashdollar said. "I see a few things in our favor this weekend. Most of our runners have competed at the Gibson family course many times before which helps from the fact that it can be tricky in certain spots. Our team is coming off one of its best races of the year with their regionals' performance, too, and experience at a national meet, which many of our men have, is invaluable." … Among the seasoned veterans on the Spartans' squad is the junior trio of Mike Stocker (Yorktown, Ind.), Curtis Nordmann (Bourbon, Ind.) and Jon Cafarelli (Lansing, Ill.). Each of them competed on the 2011 squad that placed 30th at the national meet. … The Black and Gold received recognition on this week's United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Division III poll. Manchester University, with nine votes, was one of four Great Lakes region schools recognized.