Six-time defending NCAC women’s cross country champion Oberlin and 11-time men’s cross champion Allegheny have been tabbed as the favorites to win their respective 2015 league titles based on pre-championship balloting by league coaches.
The 2015 NCAC Cross Country Championships will be held this Saturday, October 31st, at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. The women’s 6K race is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m., followed by the men’s 8K race at 11:45 a.m. CLICK HERE to access Kenyon’s championship website.
The Yeowomen, who own eight NCAC cross country titles all-time, earned six of the eight first-place votes cast by league coaches to accumulate 61 total points. Ohio Wesleyan, which has finished as the runner-up the last two years, earned the final two first-place votes and finished second in the poll with 54 points. Allegheny checked in at third with 52 points, followed by DePauw (41), Denison (31), Kenyon (24), Wooster (16) and Wittenberg (9).
Just two of the seven first-team All-NCAC peformers from the 2014 championships return to the women's field this fall, led by Ohio Wesleyan junior Sarah Fowler (Mt. Vernon, OH/Fredericktown) who finished fourth overall a year ago with a 6K time of 23:42.7. Ohio Wesleyan senior Abbey Warth (Massillon, OH/Tuslaw) rounded out the 2014 first team in seventh-place with a time of 24:03.3. Oberlin returns just one All-NCAC performer from a year ago in sophomore Peyton Boughton (Sturgis, MI/Sturgis), while senior Sarel Loewus (Pullman, WA/Pullman) has been the Yeowomen’s most consistent runner throughout the 2015 campaign. In addition, Denison sophomore Emily Grabauskas (Annandale, VA/Falls Church) returns to the field this fall after earning NCAC Newcomer of the Year honors last year by finishing as the top overall freshman in 11th-place with a time of 24:24.6.
The Gators, who last won the NCAC title in 2012, narrowly edged out two-time defending NCAC champion Wabash for the top spot in the men’s poll. The Gators picked up five-first place votes for 77 total points, while the Little Giants secured four first-place votes and 76 total points. Oberlin finished third in the poll with 61 points, followed by Ohio Wesleyan (54), DePauw (47), Denison (33), Wooster (23), Wittenberg (18) and Kenyon (16).
The competition for the top spot in the men’s individual standings will be fierce as six of the seven first-team performers from 2014 will again be part of the championship field this fall. Leading that pack is Allegheny senior Logan Steiner (Meadville, PA/North Allegheny), who is the defending NCAC Men’s Runner of the Year after traversing last year’s 8K championship course in a time of 26:31.9. Oberlin senior Geno Arthur (Camarillo, CA/Rio Mesa), who finished second behind Steiner a year ago with a time of 26:33.0, will be vying to become the Yeomen’s first-ever NCAC individual champion. The Wabash senior duo of Fabian House (Muncie, IN/Central) and Adam Togami (New Albany, IN/New Albany) will also be trying to bring home the individual crown to Crawfordsville for the first time in school history after finishing third (26:36.6) and fourth (26:44.7), respectively, in 2014. In addition, Denison junior Jacob Dennie (Indianapolis, IN/Brebeuf Jesuit) and Wabash junior Mason McKinney (Lafayette, IN/McCutcheon) also collected first-team laurels last year in fifth (26:49.2) and seventh (26:57.), respectively.
2015 NCAC Cross Country Pre-Championship Coaches' Polls
|2.||Ohio Wesleyan (2)