TERRE HAUTE, IN – York College junior runner Tim Hartung (Mohnton, Pa./Governor Mifflin) finished seventh at the 2012 NCAA Division III National Championships on Saturday in Terre Haute, IN. Hartung becomes York's first cross country All-American.
Hartung, who qualified as an at-large selection from the Mid-East Region, traversed the LaVern Gibson Course in a time of 24:43.6. He finished less than four seconds out of a top five finish and less than 18 seconds behind national champion Tim Nelson of Wisconsin-Stout. There were 280 runners that participated in the championship meet.
Hartung was the second Mid-East finisher behind Allegheny's Bobby Over. Over won last weekend's Mid-East Regional while Hartung placed fifth at the regional meet last weekend. The seventh place finish is the highest for a Capital Athletic Conference runner at the national meet. Goucher's Jeff Olencik was the previous high finisher in the CAC as he placed ninth at the 2000 national championship meet.
Head coach Erick Camodeca couldn't have been happier with the result.
"It has yet to settle in, and may take a few days or weeks to do so," said Camodeca. "As we said we had our goals going into nationals. We were aiming for Top 35, which is Coaches All American. To finish seventh Overall and become NCAA All American and have the best finish by a CAC runner in conference history is remarkable!"
Camodeca thought Hartung ran an intelligent race.
"Tim ran an aggressively smart race today. He put himself in position by getting out early and establishing position within the lead pack. Heading into the 3K Tim was about 10 seconds out from Top 15, at this point we knew he was in great shape. A few meters past the 5K, Tim was in 15-16th place. At this point it was about staying strong and confident. By the 7K, he slid past eight runners and sat in seventh place. We were shocked at this point and were hoping he could hold off everyone's kick."
Hartung felt great during the race.
"Todays race was one of those races that you want to have every time you are on the course. I had points during the race where I was worried that I was moving up the pack too fast, but my legs just kept going and I just kept passing guys. I had been confident early this year that I could put myself into position to be an NCAA All-American. Even though there were some bumps along the road to nationals this year, I still knew I had a shot this weekend if I executed to be an NCAA All-American and that's what I was able to do."
Camodeca reflected on the record-setting 2012 season for Hartung and his men's cross country program.
"This has been an incredible year for this team, and Tim. No one deserves this more than Tim and I'm sure he would trade this moment to have his teammates out here with him. All of this would not be possible without the hard work of this team and coaching staff. Coach [Steven] LoBianco has done a tremendous job with Tim and the rest of the team. We wish more people could have been out here to experience this meet, the atmosphere, and moment. "
The All-American honors caps a fantastic year for the Spartan junior. He was injured early in the year but bounced back to win the Capital Athletic Conference championship as he led the Spartans to their second straight CAC Men's Cross Country championship. Hartung was named the 2012 CAC Men's Runner-of-the-Year as he earned his second straight conference championship.
Last year in Winnecone, Wisconsin, Hartung finished 50th out of 279 competitors in his first NCAA Championship meet.