The 2015 NCAA Division III Men’s & Women’s Cross Country Championships will be hosted by Wis.-Oshkosh at the Lake Breeze Golf Club Cross Country Course in Winneconne, Wisconsin, next Saturday, Nov. 21. The top two teams from each regional automatically qualified for the national meet, while at-large berths were also awarded for 16 other teams, selected by the national committee. Aside from runners who are part of the qualifying teams, eight individuals from each gender also qualified from each region.
On the men’s side, Wabash earned the team title at the Great Lakes Regional for the third year in a row with 99 points, edging out Allegheny who finished with 101 total points. Both the Little Giants and Gators earned an automatic bid into the 2015 NCAA Championship field.
The Little Giants, who will be making their sixth consecutive appearance at the national meet, were led by senior Fabian House (Muncie, IN/Muncie Central) who finished third overall in the individual standings with an 8K time of 25:25. The Gators, who will be making their 15th trip all-time to the national meet, were led by senior Logan Steiner (Meadville, PA/North Allegheny) who finished second overall with a time of 25:23.
Oberlin senior Geno Arthur (Camarillo, CA/Rio Mesa) took home first-place to become the first individual regional champion in program history after crossing the line in a time of 25:13. In all, the NCAC registered four runners in the top-five.
Following Wabash and Allegheny in the final men’s standings at the Great Lakes Regional was Ohio Wesleyan in fifth (187), Oberlin in sixth (192), DePauw in 12th (293), Denison in 15th (426), Kenyon in 21st (547), Wooster in 24th (650), and Wittenberg in 26th (682).
On the women’s side, Allegheny earned the top NCAC team finish with a third-place showing. Each of the Gators’ top five runners finished in the top 40, as the team finished with a team score of 129. Junior S.J. Guillaume (Ridgefield, CT/Ridgefield) finished 12th after crossing the 6k course in a time of 22:24.
The top individual finisher for the North Coast was Ohio Wesleyan junior Sarah Fowler (Mount Vernon, OH/Fredericktown) who finished sixth with a time of 22:06.
Allegheny was followed in the women’s standings by Oberlin in sixth (206), DePauw in seventh (213), Ohio Wesleyan in ninth (270), Denison in 11th (325), Kenyon in 14th (362), Wooster in 21st (578) and Wittenberg in 28th (759).
The Allegheny women received one of the 16 at-large invitations into next weekend’s national championship race, while six additional NCAC runners have individually qualified to compete at the national race after posting strong performances at the Great Lakes Regional.
On the women’s side, the NCAC will be represented by OWU’s Sarah Fowler and DePauw junior Claudia Monnett (Cloverdale, IN/Cloverdale). Monnett finished ninth overall in the regional race with a time of 22:19.
Joining Arthur as NCAC men’s runners to qualify for the national meet were DePauw freshman Paul Christian (Glen Ellyn, IL/Glenbard West) and the Ohio Wesleyan duo of senior Zak Geiger (New Concord, OH/John Glenn) and sophomore John Sotos (Dublin, OH/Coffman). The trio all finished in the top-15 at the Great Lakes Regional, with Sotos finishing seventh (25:33.4), Geiger placing 11th (25:39.2) and Christian checking in at 13th (25:43).
For more information on the NCAA Div. III Cross Country Championships, visit www.ncaa.com.