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November 23, 2013

Season closes with top 30 nationals finish

HANOVER, IND. – The senior duo of Jon Caffarelli (Lansing, Ill.) and Curtis Nordmann (Bourbon, Ind.) guided No. 34-ranked Manchester University at the 2013 NCAA Division III Championships Saturday, Nov. 23.

Caffarelli turned in the low individual time for the Spartans, covering the eight-kilometer course at Hanover College's L.S. Ayres Athletic Complex in 26:09.1 to place 134th in the 275-runner field. Nordmann placed 143rd (26:13 flat) for the second-best mark in the Spartans' 721-point total that placed them 30th in the team standings.

"Obviously, we were hoping for a higher-place finish," Coach Brian Cashdollar said. "I don't want to diminish the fact that we've qualified for nationals three years in a row, though.

"We felt like we had a good game plan going in, wanting to be aggressive earlier," he added. "However, there's a fine line you need to be around to run well at nationals. That being said, I thought the team went out and gave it all they had, and it was a great experience. You still need to look at how many schools there are overall in Division III, so to get top 30 is a pretty good feeling."

Senior Chris LaFree (South Bend, Ind.) added his name to the top 200 list, placing 193rd in 26:32 flat. St. Olaf College of Minnesota pulled off a surprise at the top of the team standings, eclipsing top-ranked and two-time defending national champion North Central College of Illinois 84-86 for the national championship.