Overmyer helps UMD qualify for national meet

Body: 

Park Rapids' Isaac Overmyer helped the University of Minnesota Duluth men's cross-country team qualify for the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championship for the first time in 13 years.

UMD received one of eight at-large bids after placing fourth at the 27-team Central Regional at Kearney, Nebraska on Nov. 4. The top three teams automatically qualified for nationals.

Overmyer was the Bulldogs' No. 2 runner at that meet with a 10K time of 32:32 to finish 25th overall and earn USCCTFCA (U.S. Cross Country and Track and Field Coaches Association) All-Region honors. Augustana won the regional title for the sixth year in a row with 43 points to top the 27-team field while UMD finished with 168 points to trail Missouri Southern (156) and Central Missouri (162). Sioux Falls' Mason Phillips led the 181-runner field with a winning time of 31:12.

At the NCAA Division II Championship at Evansville, Indiana on Nov. 18, Overmyer was again the Bulldogs' No. 2 runner with a 10K time of 33:23 to finish 130th overall in the 249-runner field. UMD finished 25th out of 32 teams with 588 points as Adams State claimed the national title with 44 points. James Ngandu of Tiffin led the field with a winning time of 30:18.

"We had a goal of finishing in the top 25 and we accomplished that," said UMD head coach Paul Nisius. "We were patient and went out slow and found ourselves in the back of the pack in the early going before making our move. All in all, it was a great experience for the guys to have competed in a national championship."

Overmyer was also UMD's No. 2 runner in the four meets leading up to the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Championship.

In the season-opening Augsburg Open at Minneapolis on Sept. 2, Overmyer clocked a 5K time of 16:12 as the Bulldogs topped the five-team field with 18 points. Overmyer was the runner-up out of 54 runners.

Overmyer clocked an 8K time of 26:33 to finish 14th out of 278 runners at the St. Olaf Invitational at Northfield on Sept. 16. UMD finished second with 91 points as Wisconsin-Eau Claire topped the 22-team field with 41 points.

At the Roy Griak Invitational at Falcon Heights on Sept. 23, Overmyer finished 52nd out of 471 runners with an 8K time of 27:06. UMD finished seventh out of 44 teams with 287 points. Augustana took first with 49 points.

UMD finished 14th out of 31 teams with 360 points at the Lewis University Conference Crossover meet at Romeoville, Illinois on Oct. 7 as Overmyer covered the 8K course in 25:45 to finish 76th overall out of 361 runners. Grand Valley State won the team title with 55 points.

Overmyer earned NSIC Second Team honors after placing 17th overall out of 111 runners with an 8K time of 25:22 at the conference meet at Moorhead on Oct. 21. Augustana led the 12-team field to win the conference title for the ninth year in a row with 36 points while Duluth followed with 98 points. That was the best finish for the Bulldogs at the NSIC meet since 2010. Phillips was the conference champion with a time of 24:06. Overmyer also earned NSIC all-academic honors for having at least a 3.20 GPA.