BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Sophomore Luke Sohl will travel to the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship in Terre Haute, Ind. on Saturday on behalf of the Bridgewater College men's cross country team.
Sohl is the fourth male cross country runner in program history to qualify for Nationals. Jerry Crouse in 1978, Dwight Denlinger in 1980 and Brandon Spalding in 2006 are the three previous men to qualify. The Burke, Va. native is head coach Brian Flynn's first male qualifier since Flynn took over as the Eagles head coach.
Sohl qualified for the Championship last weekend at the NCAA Division III South/Southeast Regional Championship in Hampton, Ga. after placing seventh. He crossed the finish line with a time of 26:05 and earned All-Region honors.
On October 27, Sohl was Bridgewater's top performer at the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Cross Country Championship and finished in the runner-up spot. He crossed the finish line with a time of 26:31 and earned All-ODAC honors for his efforts.
The sophomore also finished second at the Christopher Newport University Cross Country Invitational a month ago at Lee Hall Mansion in Newport News, Va. Sohl finished the eight kilometer course with a time of 25:25.
In late September, the Eagles traveled to the University of Minnesota to the Roy Griak Invitational. The team was able to compete against athletes at the national level outside of the South/Southeast region. Sohl turned in a 21st place finish with a time of 26:29 on the weekend.
"Luke came to Bridgewater looking to qualify as a freshman, but a year of adaption and progression has done wonders and helped him get where he is now," said Flynn. "He is a very seasoned runner and even though this is his first trip to Nationals I expect him to run like a veteran and be very competitive with everyone in the field."
The national competition closes the men's cross country season on Saturday. The gun will fire at 11 a.m. at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center.
"If Luke has a good day there are very few people he is not capable of running with," said Flynn.