INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. --- Moravian College senior Gregory Jaindl has been selected as an individual competitor for the 2019 NCAA Division III Cross Country National Championships being hosted by Spalding University in Lexington, Kentucky on Saturday, November 23.
Jaindl qualified for the meet by finishing as part of the top seven individuals not on a qualifying team at Saturday's NCAA Division III Mideast Regional hosted by Muhlenberg College at Lehigh University's Goodman Campus. Jaindl, who has run at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships twice in the steeplechase but is making his first appearance in the Cross Country Championships, was fourth overall in the Mideast Regional race in a time of 24:48.8 on the 8,000-meter course to garnered All-Region honors for a second straight fall. Jaindl's fourth place on Saturday ties for the best regional finish equaling Dave Donohoe is 1991 and Dillon Farrell in 2012. Jaindl will be one of two Landmark Conference runners at the NCAA Championships with Elizabethtown College's Samuel Gerstenbacher finishing third at the regional to claim an individual spot.
"Greg set everything up perfectly yesterday," stated Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Jesse Baumann. "We knew the runners who were most likely to be in the individual qualifier pool and he did a good job of letting them dictate the pace while he just kept in contact and stayed relaxed. Between the two-and-three-mile mark that front pack started to break up and he just kept picking through the top 15 crowd. By the four-mile mark he had distinctly put himself in the requisite top seven spot and we knew barring some unforeseen circumstances he'd make his first NCAA XC meet, which clearly, he did over the final mile.
"He felt really controlled throughout the race and was within about 25 seconds of someone we feel is among the lead contenders to win NCAAs this coming Saturday, so we both feel he has a shot at the top 40 spots for All-American next week," continued Baumann. "Even though this is his first NCAA XC meet, he's certainly not satisfied with "just being there." Having already had a lot of NCAA experience in the steeplechase should be really beneficial since he has a sense of what to expect, and also can focus a little better rather than get distracted by some of the pomp and circumstance that comes with NCAA meets.
"I'd like to add that I think Greg is someone the program and school can be really proud of as a representative making it to this stage. He's a great person, high character, works his tail off and does all the little stuff right. He's a Lehigh Valley athlete, so there are so many different ways you can be proud of and want to root for Greg. Last November at regionals, he had an off day. I'm still convinced he was fully capable of making NCAAs in 2018, it just wasn't his day. He's been a heck of an athlete and representative of Moravian and our XC/TF program, so 2019 feels a little like redemption and I'm very proud to see him winding up his XC career in what feels like a very appropriate way," finished Baumann.
The top 35 finishers in the Division III Championships are recognized as All-Americans by the NCAA, and the United States Track and Field Association selects the top 15 for All-America honors.
The men's 2019 NCAA Division III Championship race will be run at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park in Louisville and is slated to begin at 10:45 a.m. Eastern on Saturday with the women's national championship race to follow at 11:45 a.m.