In just first season running at Eastern Mennonite, Dan Nafziger (Harrisonburg, VA/Harrisonburg) earned a trip to Nationals. The cold weather in the middle of November in Wisconsin did him no favors, however, as a leg injury flared up and affected his performance.
Nafziger, who missed last season with an injury after transferring from D-I George Mason, was running 150th after the first mile, but his splits slowed as his Achilles acted up. He finished with a time of 26:31.56 on the 8k course, taking 254th out of 279 runners at the Lake Breeze Golf Club in Winneconne, WI. UW-Oshkosh was the host school.
Despite not finishing as high as hoped, Coach Jason Lewkowicz was still proud of his runner.
“Dan didn’t have the race that he wanted to today,” said Lewkowicz, “but I am so proud of how he persevered throughout this season through illness and injury to even get to this point of representing EMU at the national championships. The cold weather caused his injured Achilles to act up and keep him from being his best but there are no excuses. We’ll learn from this experience, take some time to get healthy, and look towards having a strong track season.”
Ben Sathre from St. Thomas (MN) led at every split and won the individual title with a time of 23:44.27. Lee Berube of SUNY Geneseo was second at 23:49.60.
Traditional power North Central (IL) won the team title easily with a total of 110 points. Haverford was second with 172.
Nafziger finishes with a handful of honors from his first competitive season at EMU as he was named an ODAC Runner of the Week, All-ODAC Second Team, and All-South/Southeast Region First Team. This is the third straight year the Royals have had a runner at the NCAA D-III National Championships.