Spartans set for Great Lakes regional championships

Spartans set for Great Lakes regional championships

Manchester University takes aim at national meet qualification at the 2013 NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional Saturday, Nov. 16.

Meet specifics: Calvin College of Grand Rapids, Mich., is the host school … Race times around the college's Gainey Athletic Fields is 11 a.m. for the women's 6K and 12:30 p.m. for the men's 8K. … Automatic national berths go to the top two teams in both races and the top seven individuals from teams that don't place either first or second.

Spartan Shorts: MU's men are shooting for their third successive and fourth all-time national meet berth. The women's program is searching for its first nationals' appearance in school history, as they did send former standout Megan Miller individually in 2010 … On the men's side, the Spartans, 2013 HCAC champions, enter the meet ranked No. 4 regionally. "I feel like we are running as well at this point in the season as any year prior," head coach Brian Cashdollar said. "It will be a battle along individual and team lines with Calvin, Wabash, Mount Union, Case Western Reserve and ourselves coming in as the top five ranked teams. We have five senior individuals leading us. They've been through the regional and national meet experience and know what is expected." Seniors Curtis Nordmann (Bourbon, Ind.), Jon Cafarelli (Lansing, Ill.) and Chris LaFree (South Bend, Ind.) each earned all-region honors from the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association last fall. Nordmann is the top returning runner in the field from the 2012 championships where he finished eighth. Cafarelli was 23rd and LaFree wound up 28th last year at Anderson University, while fellow senior Clayton Harlan (Terre Haute, Ind.) was just off all-region pace, ending 39th … The Black and Gold women's squad comes into the regional championships fresh off a runner-up finish at the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference meet Nov. 2. They've been led throughout the season by the duo of freshman Mariah Jordan (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and junior Brianna Martinez (Schererville, Ind.). "The team has set some individual and team goals for the weekend," Cashdollar said. "If we can make those, it signals a bright future, not only for next season in cross country, but also for track and field this year." … Martinez and fellow junior Cayla Pusey (Fort Wayne, Ind.) both wound up in the top 100 at last year's regional meet. Martinez placed 65th, while Pusey ended 96th.

2013 NCAA DIVISION III CHAMPIONSHIPS: HCAC member institution Hanover College hosts the national meet Saturday, Nov. 23. The full meet field will be announced Sunday, Nov. 17.