By Pete Temple, Express Sports Editor
Nate Dotterweich had been waiting for this one.
When his distance medley relay team for Bellarmine University earned All-American status with a sixth place finish at nationals, it made a lot of things better.
“Up until when we qualified for nationals in distance medley, I kind of felt like my college career was disappointing, because I really hadn’t had as much success as I did in high school,” Dotterweich said by phone from Bellarmine in Louisville, Ky. “Having this All-American status makes it all go away.”
Dotterweich’s team achieved the honor during the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Meet Friday, March 8 in Birmingham, Ala. Along with Sean Klosterman, Jared Findlater of Marengo, Iowa; and Robert Sandlin, Dotterweich’s team finished sixth with a time of 9 minutes, 55.8 seconds. The top eight teams are chosen first team All-American.
He became the third Monticello track and field athlete to earn All-American honors, following Kevin Balster in Division III 10,000 meters, and Jordan Williams in Division I discus.
Dotterweich led off the relay with a 1,200-meter run. Klosterman followed with a 400, and Findlater ran the 800 leg, handing over the baton with the team in eighth place. Sandlin anchored the team with a 1,600-meter run.
“Our anchor, he’s run a 4:05 open (mile),” Dotterweich said. “As soon as he got the baton and we were eighth, I knew we had it. It was basically my last goal of my (indoor) career.”
The relay’s time broke its own school record by eight seconds.
Bellarmine coach Jim Vargo was quoted on the Bellarmine athletic website, saying, “We wanted to run a 9:55, and we met that goal. Everybody ran lights out.”
The Monticello High School graduate was a two-time state champion in cross country and earned state titles in four track events, two individually and two with relays. He was also a member of Monticello’s state championship team of 2007.
Dotterweich has competed in both sports at Bellarmine.
“I qualified for nationals in the steeplechase in 2010 as a sophomore,” Dotterweich said. “That same year we won the (Great Lakes Valley) Conference in the 1,500.
“In distance medley we won conference this year and last year.”
He is also a three-time all-conference runner in cross country, and was a member of the 2010 Bellarmine cross country team that qualified for nationals.
And, he’s not done, as Bellarmine begins its outdoor season this spring.
“My number one (goal) would be to make it back to nationals in either the steeplechase (which is 3,000 meters) or the 1,500),” Dotterweich said.
Dotterweich is a fifth-year senior who red-shirted in his junior year. He is double majoring in psychology and sociology. After graduation, he plans to stay in the Louisville area to work with Penske Truck Rental.
“For now I’m paying the bills,” he said. “I don’t really know what my longterm goals are yet.
“But with running, right now I’m planning on staying here to coach. The team could use someone to run with.”
Dotterweich said he still appreciates the support he received during his highly-decorated high school career in Monticello.
“I don’t know if there could have been a better support system than having the whole town behind me like they were when I was in high school,” he said.
He is the son of Ken Dotterweich and Sandy Dotterweich.
PHOTO: Nate Dotterweich of Monticello (far left) was a member of the All-American distance medley team from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky. From left are Dotterweich, Sean Klosterman, Jared Findlater and Robert Sandlin. (Photo submitted)