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WAVERLY — Wartburg College had five runners finish among the top 18 as the Knights captured the NCAA Division III Central Regional men’s cross country championship Saturday.

Meanwhile, Carina Collet was the individual champion in the women’s race for Wartburg.

The Knights, ranked 17th nationally in men’s cross country, finished with 52 points and earned an automatic berth into the Division III Cross Country Championships at Wisconsin-Oshkosh Saturday.

This is the 14th time in program history and fourth straight season the Knights have advanced to the Division III championships.

Sam Pinkowski set the pace for Wartburg Saturday, clocking a time of 25:00.4 over the 8-kilometer course that was good for third place individually.

The rest of the Knights weren’t far behind. Joe Freiburger was fifth (25:06.7), Dalton Martin 11th (25:15.6), Caleb Appleton 15th (25:19.3) and Casey Roberts 18th (25:23.7). Tris Dodge of team runner-up Carleton was the individual champion at 24:51.3.

Collet, a sophomore from Verona, Ill., covered the 6K course in 21:45.9 to edge Nebraska Wesleyan’s Hanna Hegemann (21:54.0).

Cassidy Christopher was 13th for Wartburg (22:37.1) and Anna Hertz 33rd (23:08.1). Luther’s Amelia Morrow was 16th (22:41.6). Wartburg finished third in the team standings behind Carleton and Nebraska Wesleyan.

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