The Colorado School of Mines men’s cross country team won its first RMAC Championship in school history at Black Hills State University in South Dakota.
“That was just the best. Coming into that race, we didn’t know what we were up against, but we got six hundred meters from the finish, and I didn’t really know where anyone was before then. There was an Adams State coach at the top of the hill yelling at the guy behind us, ‘That’s five Mines guys right there!’ and I was just so pumped,” junior Ben Schneiderman said of the race.
“We all just crossed the finish line and started screaming our heads off. It was pretty exciting, obviously that’s an experience that you won’t get to recreate many times, if at all,” Schneiderman added.
The team beat former #1 ranked, defending conference champion, Adams State by a decisive 24 points. Led by Nathanael Williams, Logan Ramlet, Grant Colligan, Ben Schneiderman, and Dan Mahoney the team finished nearly perfectly securing five of the top six spots with Oredigger runners finishing 2-6 for a combined 20 points and a cumulative 2:07.47 time.
Williams finished with a time of 25:18, two seconds behind the top finisher. Notably, Ramlet, a red shirt freshman, made his RMAC debut at this event with an impressive third place finish in 25:35. With this win they reclaimed the number one spot in the latest USTFCCCA National Coaches’ Poll.
“Everyone’s really focused, really dedicated; people are working harder this year than ever before, as far as I can tell,” Schneiderman said of the season so far. Their hard work has paid off: Mines’ coach, Chris Siemers earned the RMAC Coach of the Year honors and Logan Ramlet was named the RMAC Freshman of the Year, the first Oredigger to ever win this award. The Orediggers top five earned First-Team All-RMAC honors along with Nick Sevcik, who finished 10th.
As for the women program, Mines’ young squad finished fifth in the RMAC Championships with a score of 138, behind four nationally ranked teams including #1 Adams State. Hanna Barringer led the Oredigger finishers in 13th place with a time of 23:13 and First-Team All-RMAC honors. Kara Burton finished 25th with a time of 23:47 and Second-Team All-RMAC honors.
Looking into the post-season, Schneiderman said, “At the end of the day we just have to trust that we’re doing the right training, that our coach knows what’s good for us. The results have been good so far, so hopefully they continue to be.”