Destination: All-American

Junior Jesse Middendorf ran a 1:52.53 in the finals of the 800 meters and finished fifth to become the first Cobber All-American track athlete since 1992.
Junior Jesse Middendorf ran a 1:52.53 in the finals of the 800 meters and finished fifth to become the first Cobber All-American track athlete since 1992.

GREENSBORO, N.C. (5/29/21)---After breaking school records, winning MIAC titles and not being able to compete in an NCAA National Championship Meet, there was only one destination left for junior Jesse Middendorf (Melrose, Minn.) – the All-American podium.

That goal has been realized as Middendorf finished fifth in the finals of the 800 meters at the Division III Outdoor Meet and earned his first-ever All-American honor. He becomes the first Cobber track athlete to earn All-American honors since Jason Trichler in 1992. Middendorf is only the second overall Cobber student-athlete to earn All-American honors in an outdoor meet since 2002. He joins Matt Bye who claimed his All-American award with an eighth-place finish in the decathlon.

Middendorf's fifth-place finish is the highest for a Cobber at the NCAA National Outdoor Meet since Concordia Hall of Famer Aaron Banks placed second in the shot put and third in the discus at the 1996 meet.    

Middendorf won 800-meter titles at the 2020 MIAC Indoor Meet and then this year's conference outdoor meet but because of the pandemic, he was unable to compete in a national meet to go against the top athletes in the country. That goal was realized when he stepped on the Irwin Belk Track in Greensboro, N.C. on Friday.

Middendorf opened his first-ever national meet appearance by placing second in the second hear which automatically qualified him for the finals. He clocked a 1:52.44 in the prelims which was just off the time of 1:51.49 which won the MIAC Meet championship.

Middendorf earned his trip to the podium on Saturday when he crossed the line in a time of 1:52.53. He was able to get by an early tangle with another runner in the first lap. Middendorf joined the pack after the first turn of the second lap and then strode into the Top 5 down the backstretch. He was able to pull away from the last three finishers down the final 100 meters and nearly caught the fourth-place finisher at the wire.

Cobber NCAA Outdoor All-Americans
2021 - Jesse Middendorf - 800 Meters
2019 - Matt Bye - Decathlon 
2002 - Joe Schmidgall - Decathlon 
2000 - Adam Strainer - Decathlon  
1996 - Aaron Banks - Shot Put & Discus 
1995 - Aaron Banks - Shot Put & Discus 
1994 - Aaron Banks - Shot Put & Discus  
1992 - Jason Trichler - 3000 Meter Steeplechase
1988 - Greg Defor - 800 Meters 
1985 - Kurt Waters - Pole Vault
1984 - Dave Swanberg - 400 Meters
1984 - Howard Berglund - Javelin
1978 - Steve Fox - 400-Meter Hurdles 
1977 - Steve Fox - 400-Meter Hurdles