HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – After a season filled with new program records and numerous top-25 finishes, Saint Leo University's Carl Dunne finished in 5th place at the NCAA South Region Championship meet. Dunne's finish earned him a spot in the NCAA National Championship meet, which is set to be hosted by Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Missouri on Nov. 17.
During Dunne's first attempt at taking on the Sharon Johnston Park in Huntsville, he finished with an outstanding time of 32:12.44, just less than one second behind Alabama Huntsville's fourth-place Jose Ortega. The fifth-place finish shatters the all-time fastest program 10K record that was previously held by Jon Norris from last year's NCAA South Region run.
In his first season as a Lion, Carl Dunne broke numerous program records, notching his name four times on the all-time 8K program records list after participating in just six races.
In addition to Dunne's time, runners Valentin Lenz, Eric Dirth, Brian Haynes, David Hill, and Spencer Mathis also finished with times fast enough to put their names on the top-10 records list for 10K races. At this time, Valentin Lenz holds the fourth-place spot, followed by Eric Dirth in the fifth-place spot, Brian Haynes in the sixth-place spot, and David Hill in the seventh-place spot. Spencer Mathis also notched his name in the ninth-place spot on the all-time fastest records list.
Followed closely behind Mathis was freshman Steven Brown, whose time of 37:06.35 would have been quick enough to place him on the all-time records list, had his teammates not broken all the records before he finished.
"The course and atmosphere made for a great experience for both teams. We took five men and women who have never raced in a Regional Championship before, and this is the first time that both our men's and women's teams finished in the top 10," said head coach Melissa Miller-Mangen. "Carl improved his 10K time with a career-best and made a move in the last 5K to make it a very exciting race!"
Overall, Nova Southeastern claimed the title as they finished with a score of 81 points. Alabama Huntsville's Blaise Binns took home the individual title as he finished with a time of 31:39.07. Saint Leo finished 10th among the rest of the competing teams with 242 points total.
Dunne will now travel to Joplin, Missouri where he will compete in the 2012 NCAA National run, which is set to take place on Saturday, Nov. 17. Stay up to date with men's cross country team news, updates, and information by tuning in at SaintLeoLions.com. Also, be sure to 'Like' the Lions on Facebook and 'Follow' the Lions on Twitter.