Schalick’s Gerstenbacher on his way to NCAA D-3 XC Nationals after huge race for Elizabeth at Regionals!!!

Schalick graduate Samuel Gerstenbacher is on his way back to nationals!

Gerstenbacher, a senior at Elizabethtown University, placed third Saturday in the NCAA Division 3 Mideast Region XC Championships, earning an auto berth at nationals

Gerstenbacher covered the 8,000-meter course at Lehigh University’s lower campus in Bethlehem in 24:44, finishing behind only Pat Watson of Stevenson [24:24] and Jared Pangallozzi of Johns Hopkins [24:40].

The first seven finishers from schools that don’t earn a team berth at nationals [Carnegie Mellon and Johns Hopkins] advanced automatically.

Gerstenbacher was 42nd at Regionals as a freshman, 29th as a sophomore and 9th as a junior.

Last year, Gerstenbacher finished 83rd at XC nationals in Wisconsin. He’s competed at NCAA nationals twice in track, placing 17th and 12th the last two years in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Gerstenbacher will race next weekend at the NCAA Division 3 Championships at E.P. Sawyer Park in Louisville, Ky. The men’s race is scheduled to begin at 10:45 a.m. Saturday.

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