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North Van's Charlie Dannatt win's NCAA Div. II West Region cross-country championship

SFU runner's historic Top 15 finish in NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships earns him All-America honours
SFU runner Charlie Dannatt celebrates a victory in the NCAA Div. 2 Men's Cross Country West Region Championship race held on a frigid day in Billings, Mont., Nov. 19. | Shi Robison Photography

North Vancouver’s Charlie Dannatt concluded a string of historic cross-county running results for Simon Fraser University Friday, scoring the best finish in school history at an NCAA national championship race.

Dannatt finished 15th at the 2022 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships held Friday morning at Chambers Creek Regional Park in University Place, Wash. The Handsworth grad completed the 10-kilometre race in 30 minutes 12.2 seconds. Dannatt was in 59th place at the 1.2 km mark, but he steadily improved his position at every interval through the race, moving up seven spots in the final kilometre to crack the Top 15. With that finish, Dannatt became the second athlete in program history to earn NCAA Div. II All-America honours, after Sean Miller did it in 2018 (23rd place).

That strong result came two weeks after Dannatt became the first runner in SFU history to win the NCAA Div. II Men’s Cross Country West Region Championship race.

Dannatt paced the field on a frigid day in Billings, Mont., Nov. 19, completing the 10-kilometre run in a time of 30 minutes 7.49 seconds. The race was a start-to-finish duel between Dannatt and his Great Northwestern Athletic Conference rival Cole Nash, the Alaska Anchorage runner who won the GNAC title earlier this season, with Dannatt finishing third in that race.

In the West Region Championship, Dannatt and Nash went head-to-head throughout the race, with Dannatt pulling ahead over the final kilometre to win by nearly three seconds.

“Charlie came away with an incredible victory and beat Alaska’s Nash, who’s been winning all year,” said SFU head coach Brit Townsend, adding that the weather was nasty on race day. “I am so incredibly proud of both my men’s and women’s teams…. They endured some of the worst conditions I’ve ever seen for a cross-country meet. It was so cold and windy, minus-15 with the wind chill. Very hard to dress for a race like this.”

In October, Dannatt, claimed his first win in an NCAA cross-country race, taking top spot in the San Francisco State Invitational.

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