TOLEDO, Ohio – Sophomore Tecumseh Adams’ goals going into Saturday’s NCAA Great Lakes Regional meet were to qualify for NCAA Nationals with a finish in the top ten as an individual, and in the top eight as a team.
Check and check.
Adams finished fourth overall in a career-best time of 30:12.8 on the 10K course at Ottawa Park Golf Course in Toledo to lead the Chippewas to a seventh place finish. The Chippewas finished with a team score of 235 and finished first amongst the eight MAC schools in the field.
With the finish, Adams will compete at the NCAA National Championship Meet in Terre Haute, Ind., Monday, Nov. 21. He is the first Chippewa to do so since Matt Loiselle qualified as a sophomore in 2005. He is the first cross country runner to qualify for nationals under head coach Willie Randolph, and CMU will now be represented at all three NCAA Championships in 2011 (Kevin Mays - indoor track and field; Alex Rose - outdoor track and field).
"The men and women's teams ran great races today," Randolph said. "Our region is one of the best in the country, and to pull off two top-10 performances was a great accomplishment for both programs.
"Tech ran another smart race today and will be headed to the NCAA Championships as his reward," Randolph added. "We are excited for him and our program."
Adams ran with the front pack for a majority of the race, working his way up to third at the 6K mark and even taking the lead for a brief period late in the run around the 7K mark. He was passed shortly thereafter by eventual regional champion Callum Hawkins of Butler and Eric Finan of Cincinnati by the 8K point. Adams and third-place finisher Craig Forys of Michigan crossed the line nearly simultaneously, though Forys edged him out by just .7 of a second.
Junior Matt Lutzke crossed the line 78th in a career-best 32:03.7, followed closely by sophomore Nathan Huff in 80th with a career-fastest time of 32:06.3 to round out the top five scoring lineup for CMU.
Big Ten champion Wisconsin and Indiana both secured team qualifications for the national meet.
MAC champion Eastern Michigan finished 16th as a team, behind CMU, Akron (13th), Kent State (14th) and Toledo (15th).