Freshmen Lucas Weber, Cody Chadwick and Michael Juarez led UW-Oshkosh to a 10th-place finish at the NCAA Division III Men's Cross Country Midwest Regional on Saturday (Nov. 11) at the Saukie Golf Course in Rock Island, Ill.
Weber placed 37th among the 254 runners in the 8,000-meter race with a time of 24:33 while Chadwick placed 39th in 24:36 and Juarez 44th in 24:44.
Weber was the second freshman to cross the regional's finish line while Chadwick was the third and Juarez the fourth. North Central College's (Ill.) Jared Borowsky was the top freshman finisher with his overall third-place time of 23:38.
UW-Eau Claire's Darin Lau captured this year's regional title with a winning time of 23:22. Dhruvil Patel of North Central College finished second in 23:38 while Zach Lee of UW-Platteville placed fourth in 23:43 and David O'Gara of Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.) fifth in 23:47. Patel finished second and Lau third at last year's regional held at the Lake Breeze Golf Club in Winneconne.
The top 10 individual listings also included Walker Rynes of UW-Platteville finishing sixth with a time of 23:49, Josh Schraeder of UW-La Crosse seventh in 23:50, Matthew Norvell of North Central College eighth in 23:50, Dan O'Keefe of North Central College ninth in 23:50 and Thomas Schultz of UW-La Crosse 10th in 23:51.
Defending champion North Central College scored 34 points to win its 29th Midwest Regional title. The Cardinals were followed in the field of 36 teams by second-place UW-La Crosse with 81 points, third-place Washington University in St. Louis with 124, fourth-place UW-Eau Claire with 133 and fifth-place UW-Stout with 159.
Completing the top 10 teams were sixth-place University of Chicago (Ill.) with 226 points, seventh-place UW-Stevens Point with 260, eighth-place UW-Platteville with 262, ninth-place UW-Whitewater with 288 and 10th-place UW-Oshkosh with 312.
North Central College, which also won last year's Division III national title, entered Saturday's regional as the top-ranked team in the country by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
UW-La Crosse was ranked second in the nation, Washington University in St. Louis ninth, UW-Stout 17th, UW-Eau Claire 20th, University of Chicago 32nd and UW-Platteville 34th.
Joining Weber, Chadwick and Juarez in compiling UW-Oshkosh's team score were senior Dan Massey and freshman Noah Bruehl. Massey finished 93rd in the meet with a time of 25:37 and Bruell 101st in 25:41.
The top two teams secure automatic berths into the NCAA Division III Championship that will be held next Saturday (Nov. 18) at the Principia College North Farm Cross Country Facility in Elsah, Ill. Sixteen other at-large bids will be awarded from the nation's eight total regions on Sunday (Nov. 12).
The top seven individual finishers from each region not on one of the team qualifiers will also earn an invitation to the national championship.