YORK, Pa. – To top off a tremendous junior season, Tim Hartung (Mohnton, Pa./Governor Mifflin) is heading back to the NCAA National Championship meet. Hartung will be making his second appearance at nationals for the Spartans. This year's championship race will take place on Saturday, November 17 in Terre Haute, Indiana.
At an incredibly competitive Mid-East Regionals last weekend, Hartung raced strong and smart to earn himself a fifth place finish and to help his team finish seventh overall. That was the highest team finish in school history. Hartung was happy that he was able to run the race exactly how he had planned.
"I stayed comfortable through the first part of the race and let everything pan out in front of me," said Hartung. " When I saw the opportunity to make my move I was able to execute and finish hard."
Finishing strong in the regional meet was helpful for Hartung. He said he feels great and is exactly where he wants to be heading into nationals.
"Returning to Nationals is not a given", said head coach Erick Camodeca. "We are very happy for Tim to have earned that opportunity again."
Last season, Hartung placed 50th out of 279 competitors at the championship held in Winnecone, Wisconsin. He traversed the 8,000-meter course in an excellent 24:57.20, averaging a 5:02 mile.
For this year, Hartung has set his goals high. Since the beginning of the season he has wanted to come home from nationals as an NCAA All-American. In order to reach this goal, Hartung will have to finish in the top 15. If he were to come home a Coaches All-American with a top 35 finish he would still be happy with his performance.
"I have always set my goals very high throughout my life and I wouldn't treat nationals any other way," said Hartung.
Although he cannot know exactly how the race will turn out, Hartung believes that his experience from last year will help him. Now that he has already been there, he can focus more on the race then the hype and spectacle of being at nationals.
Coach Camodeca knows how hard Hartung has been working for this race. The preparation began as soon as he crossed the finish line last year in Wisconsin. The time has come to put all his hard work and practice to the test.
"Tim knows what he wants to accomplish and how to go about it," said coach Camodeca. "Whatever the outcome of this weekend, we are very pleased with his accomplishments as well as the success the team had this season."
To follow Hartung's race at nationals check back to the YCP athletics home page on race day for a link to the live video.