This time last year, Josh Lamers was working in the hotel industry.

Fast forward to Saturday, and the University of Mary star junior was nearly a national champion.

Lamers raced to a runner-up finish in the 110-meter hurdles at the NCAA Division II national championships in Charlotte, N.C. His personal-best time of 13.85 seconds, and second-place finish, was the best individual finish for a member of the U-Mary men's team since moving to the NCAA level.

"It all just came together," the former Louisiana State University athlete said. "It feels good to be able to do this as a Marauder. Things have really worked out great."

The 24-year-old Lamers has family in the area, but had no intention of resuming his track career when he enrolled in classes at U-Mary. But eventually he felt an itch that needed to be scratched.

"Something inside of me was telling me to go talk to the coaches to see if I possibly had any eligibility left," Lamers said. "To go from that point to where we are now, is pretty incredible. I never would have anticipated that."

"I just have to thank coach (Mike) Thorson for signing me up."

Lamers left LSU -- a powerhouse outfit in the SEC -- because he, "no longer felt comfortable with that program."

In a short period of time, the bio-mechanics major has fit in perfectly with the Marauders and is targeting even bigger things next year.

"I want to put the University of Mary at the top of the D-II record books," he said of his event, the 110 hurdles. "That's where all of my energy and focus is going. That's how I want this to end."

Zeis finishes career

Lexi Zeis came up short of earning All-American honors for the 14th time in her career on Saturday.

The star distance runner from Bismarck placed 14th in 5,000-meter run in a time of 17:13.33.

Zeis earned her 13th All-American honor on Thursday by placing 10th in the 10K.

Relay team finishes strong

Julia Hammerschmidt, Nicolyn Brown, Nelecia Richards and Abbey Zastrow combined to finish seventh in the 1,600 relay on Saturday.

The All-American quartet of two juniors, one sophomore and one freshman, teamed for a time of 3:42.74, beating their seed by one place.

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Reach Tribune sports editor Dave Selvig at (701) 250-8246 or david.selvig@bismarcktribune.com