Former Stillwater runners Josh Kaul and Tom Linner helped lead the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse men’s cross country team to a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Division III Championships on Saturday at the LaVern Gibson Course in Terre Haute, Ind.
The Eagles totaled 190 points to finish just 23 points behind champion North Central College (Ill.) and just two points behind Calvin College (Mich.) and Haverford College (Pa.), which tied for second at 188. This marked the 11th top-10 finish for UW-La Crosse, which won national titles in 1996, 2001 and 2005.
Kaul, 2008 Stillwater graduate, earned NCAA Division III All-America honors while leading the Eagles with a 24th-place finish on the 8,000-meter course in a time of 24:58.8. It was a significant improvement in the third time competing at nationals for Kaul, who placed 260th as a freshman and 91st as a junior last fall.
Linner, meanwhile, was the sixth finisher for the Eagles in 111th place — out of 280 runners — with a time of 25:46.8. Linner is just one year removed from helping the Ponies to a state championship in cross country last fall.
Kaul also led the Eagles with a 14th-place finish at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional on Nov. 10. Linner joined Kaul in receiving All-Region honors after placing 33rd at the event, which featured 39 teams and 271 runners. The Eagles finished second behind North Central College in the team standings at regionals.