Farwell, LaMere, Masterson & Schwamberger Earn National Awards For DIII Cross Country
NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced Tuesday its National Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the NCAA Division III Cross Country season following the championships in Winneconne, Wisconsin this past weekend.
UW-Platteville’s Ian LaMere and Cornell College’s Abrah Masterson, who won the men’s and women’s individual title, respectively, were named their gender’s National Athlete of the Year.
Dan Schwamberger of UW-Eau Claire and Peter Farwell of Williams led their teams to the men’s and women’s national title, respectively, and were honored as the National Coaches of the Year.
Men’s National Athlete of the Year
Ian LaMere, UW-Platteville
When he was on his game, there were very few men in NCAA Division III that could keep up with UW-Platteville junior Ian LaMere.
2014: Grant Wintheiser, St. Olaf
2013: Mike LeDuc, Connecticut College
2012: Tim Nelson, UW-Stout
2011: Ben Sathre, St. Thomas (Minn.)
2010: Anders Hulleberg, Haverford
When LaMere raced strict DIII competition this cross country season, he won five of the six races in which he competed by an average of 27.4 seconds. Take away a two-second win at the BluGold Invitational and he won by an average of 33.75 seconds.
So what LaMere did at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships this past weekend was nothing short of usual and historic.
One man tried to keep up with LaMere and fell off the pace at 1K. LaMere eventually won by 40 seconds, the largest margin of victory in meet history.
LaMere’s other wins this season came at the Brissman-Lundeen Invitational, the Blugold Invitational, the WIAC Championships and the Midwest Region Championships.
He is the second Pioneer to win this award in the past seven years. Tyler Sigl also captured this honor back in 2007.
Women’s National Athlete of the Year
Abrah Masterson, Cornell College
Abrah Masterson won two races her junior season – the first and the last.
2014: Amy Regan, Stevens
2013: Chelsea Johnson, St. Scholastica
2012: Christy Cazzola, UW-Oshkosh
2011: Chiara Del Piccolo, Williams
2010: Wendy Pavlus, St. Lawrence
Since Masterson qualified for the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships as an individual, winning the last race of the season wasn’t a bad way to go out.
This past weekend in Winneconne, Wisconsin, Masterson hung with the leaders until 1K to go and then dropped the hammer. Masterson was one second behind the leader at 5K and swung ahead to put two seconds of distance between her and runner-up by the end of the 6K race.
Outside of a victory at the Les Duke Invitational, Masterson finished second four times of which included runner-up finishes at the Tori Neubauer Invitational, the Midwest Conference College Championships and the Central Region Championships.
Masterson is the first runner from Cornell College to win this prestigious honor.
Men’s National Coach of the Year
Dan Schwamberger, UW-Eau Claire
Midway through the NCAA Division III Cross Country season, the UW-Eau Claire men overtook North Central (Ill.) for the top spot in the men’s poll. Actually, the Blugolds jumped from No. 4 to No. 1, so they displaced three other programs as well.
2014: Al Carius, North Central (Ill.)
2013: Phil Lundin, St. Olaf
2012: Al Carius, North Central (Ill.)
2011: Al Carius, North Central (Ill.)
2010: Tim Donnelly, Haverford
A few eyebrows were raised, but if anybody knew what UW-Eau Claire had in store for the rest of the season, it was its coach Dan Schwamberger.
Don’t expect the Blugolds to relinquish that top ranking any time soon.
UW-Eau Claire showcased its top-end depth this past weekend and edged No. 2 Williams for the men’s team title. The Blugolds went 2-9-12-30-82, while the Ephs went 3-13-31-32-65. UW-Eau Claire won by nine points, 135-144.
This was UW-Eau Claire’s first national title in men’s XC. The Blugolds also posted victories at the AAE Invitational (DIII Pre-Nationals), the WIAC Championships and the Midwest Region Championships.
Schwamberger also won National Coach of the Year honors in 2009 for his work with the women’s team.
Women’s National Coach of the Year
Peter Farwell, Williams
Everybody assumed the women’s race at this past weekend’s NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships was just a coronation for Johns Hopkins once again.
2014: Bobby Van Allen, Johns Hopkins
2013: Bobby Van Allen, Johns Hopkins
2012: Bobby Van Allen, Johns Hopkins
2011: Jeff Stiles, Washington (Mo.)
2010: Terry Aldrich, Middlebury
What no one – except Peter Farwell – expected was what the Williams Ephs did.
Williams ran how a championship team should and worked its way up the field. At 2K, the Ephs were in seventh – 250 points behind the leading Blue Jays. By 5K, Williams and Johns Hopkins were tied at 100. When the race ended, the Ephs captured their second national title and dropped their team score to 81 points.
Junior Hannah Cole led Williams with a fourth-place finish. Sophomore Victoria Kingham also finished in the top-15 (11th).
The Ephs also won the New England Region Championship, the NESCAC Championship and the Little 3 Championships this year, among others.
This is Farwell’s fourth time being named National Coach of the Year. Farwell also won in 2004, 2002 and 1994.