Carter Brocato named AMC Freshman of the Year

Will Johnson

Even though the races have gotten longer, that hasn’t stopped former Dutchmen cross country runner Carter Brocato during his freshman season as a Columbia College Cougar.

Competing Friday, Nov. 3 in Elsah, Ill., on the campus of Principia College during the American Midwest Conference (AMC) Cross Country meet, Brocato left with more hardware adding to his numerous accomplishments throughout high school.

“For him (Carter Brocato) to get 10th in his conference meet and earn conference freshman of the year is a testament to his work ethic and his desire,” OHS head cross country coach Matt Candrl said. “He’s picked the right school for the right reasons and it is showing in all aspects of his college life in Columbia.”

Competing in four of Columbia College’s five cross country meets thus far, Carter has finished in the top 50.

“Coach (Daniel) Radkowiec and I have just been real impressed with Carter’s steady improvement throughout the season,” Columbia College assistant cross country coach Tracy Jex said. “We knew Carter was a good runner, but we have been pleasantly surprised at how quickly he has become a big contributor on this team.”

Opening the season in a 6400K race over Labor Day weekend, Brocato and Columbia College competed in the Southwest Baptist University (SBU) Invitational at Bolivar.

Carter posted a 38th-place time of 21:12.30 helping the Cougar harriers place third as a team with 66 points behind the University of Central Missouri (50) and Missouri Southern (38).

Two weeks later at the Bradley Intercollegiate Cross Country meet in Peoria, Ill., Brocato’s 47th-place time of 28:21.5 in his first collegiate 8K race helped the Cougars top the team standings in their division.

Returning to action on Saturday, Oct. 21 in the NAIA Seminole Valley Stampede in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Carter nearly broke the 27-minute barrier.

Posting a 34th-place time of 27:03.9, the Cougar freshman helped Columbia College finish second as a team to the University of St. Francis in Iowa.

Nearly two weeks later at the AMC Cross Country Championships, Carter dropped another 30 seconds from his previous best time.

Grabbing the final All-AMC medal with a 10th-place time of 26:34, Brocato was also named the AMC Men’s Cross Country Freshman of the Year.

“To be named conference freshman of the year is a huge honor,” Jex said. “We are looking forward to his development. We owe a big thanks to the Owensville community and Coach (Matt) Candrl for such a quality young man.

Making the MSHSAA Cross Country Championships all four times throughout high school, Carter has now begun the quest to become a four-time National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Cross Country National Championships qualifier.

Brocato and the rest of his Columbia College cougar teammates will compete on Friday, Nov. 18 in Ft. Vancouver, Wash.