It was another busy weekend on the NCAC cross country circuit as six of the league’s nine schools were in action at the OWU invite at Liberty Park, which will host the 2017 Great Lakes Regional. Kenyon finished third in the women’s race and Ohio Wesleyan took sixth in the men’s race as the top finishers from the NCAC. All nine conference schools will be in action this weekend, led by DePauw and Wabash traveling to Indiana University on Friday night in Bloomington for the Indiana Intercollegiate Championships.
OHIO WESLEYAN hosted DENISON, DEPAUW, KENYON, OBERLIN, WITTENBERG and 12 other schools for its own OWU Invitational at Liberty Park, site of the 2017 Great Lakes Regional in November. Hope won the women’s race with 64 total points, while Oberlin junior Linnea Halsten (Madison, WI/Madison East) won the individual title after crossing the line in 21:47.2. Kenyon finished third with 87 points, led by Grace Moses (Great Falls, VA/Potomac School) finishing seventh in a time of 22:50.4. Oberlin finished fourth with 89 points after placing two runners in the top-10, led by Halsten in first and Oona Jung-Beeman (Wilmette, IL/New Trier) finishing 10th in 22:52.7. Sophomore Sana Qamar (Dublin, OH/Coffman) led Ohio Wesleyan to nine-place (261) after finishing 34th overall in 23:44.3. Three Big Red women’s runners placed in the top-70, led by sophomore Erin O’Connor (Bethesda, MD/Walt Whitman) (56th/24:09.7) to help them finish 10th with 299 team points. DePauw totaled 395 points and finished 13th. Natalie Gruszka (Valparaiso, IN/Valparaiso) paced the Tigers with a 105th-place finish in 25:13.9, followed by Meghan Hennessey (Williamsport, IN/Seeger Memorial) in 107th (25:15.4). Wittenberg finished 16th (476), led by junior Paige Narciso (Worthington, OH/Thomas Worthington) (111th/25:26.4). On the men’s side, Otterbein topped the field with 49 points, followed by Ohio Wesleyan in sixth (229), DePauw in eighth (271), Oberlin in 11th (322), Kenyon in 12th (335), Denison in 13th (343) and Wittenberg in 14th (360). OWU sophomore Ryan Lesmez (Arlington, VA/Yorktown) posted a top-five individual finish to lead all NCAC runners, finishing fifth in a time of 25:48.8. Wittenberg junior Charles Rodeheffer (Delaware, OH/Olentangy) followed his first-week win with a top-10 finish, stopping his time at 26:01.0 to earn eighth in the 212-man field. Other league highlights included Kenyon’s Kyle Rose (Meadville, PA/Meadville Area Senior) finishing 33rd (26:52.5), DePauw’s Polo Burguete (Distrito Federal, Mexico/Culver Academies) claiming 42nd (27:04.07), Oberlin’s David Brubacher (New Windsor, NY/Cornwall) taking 47th in a time of 27:10.0 and Denison’s Ben Foster (Westport, CT/Staples) leading the Big Red with 64th-place finish (27:28.3).