Men’s and women’s squads qualify for Nationals

The men’s and women’s cross country squads placed seventh and third, respectively at the NCAA Midwest Regional to set the stage for the national meet.

By Max Hawkins

The Maroon men’s and women’s cross country teams placed well in the NCAA Midwest Regional, finishing seventh and third, respectively.

On the men’s side, Chicago’s top two runners, fourth-year Michael Frasco and third-year Gareth Jones, earned All-Region honors, respectively finishing 10th and 21st overall with times of 24:41 and 24:49. Second-year Peter Kreuch, third-year Timofey Karginov, fourth-year Henry Blood, and third-year Eyal Hanfling all finished with times under 26 minutes, coming in at 42nd, 47th, 50th, and 61st, respectively. First-year Jacob Gosselin finished with a time of 27 minutes flat, after supporting Blood throughout the first two miles of the race.

“Personally, I felt amazing during the race. I was on my toes the entire time, pushing the pace and passing people…The last 100 meters was pure pain, as I tried to get to the finish line as quickly as possible,” Frasco said.

The men finished with a score of 170, four points ahead of UAA and regional rival Wash U. With the top eight teams in the Midwest region qualifying for nationals this year, the men qualified for next weekend’s nationals by virtue of their fourth place finish.

“We had the best team performance in the four years that I’ve been here. This team is really special. We have an incredible opportunity to do well at nationals,” Frasco said.

The No. 16 women also performed well, led by second-year Khia Kurtenbach who placed third with a time of 21:20.7. Fourth-year Brianna Hickey followed close behind, finishing 11th with a time of 21:34.8. Both Kurtenbach and Hickey earned All-Region honors.

“We had a solid day for our women’s team. We finished third with a performance that we were confident would take us to the national meet,” second-year Claire Costelloe said.

“Of the seven women that ran yesterday, I believe five of us had lifetime best performances for 6K,” second-year Cassidy McPherson said. “The same can be said for the men’s team, who had six out of seven with lifetime bests for 8K.”

Adding to the women’s success, second-year Kelsey Dunn finished 28th, third-year Madeleine Horvath finished 37th, fourth-year Catherine Young finished 47th, Costelloe finished 54th, and McPherson finished 56th. All five of them completed the race with a time between 22:10 and 22:5.

“I felt like today was more indicative of what this team is capable of. We’re currently ranked 16th in the polls and we would like to improve upon this for a top 10 performance. I think this team is more than able of doing so if everything falls together,” Costelloe said. “We are excited to see how we match up against the best teams in the nation next week and are hoping to put together our best race of the season on the biggest stage in DIII cross country.”

With strong individual performances, the women’s team also qualified for nationals. Both the women’s and men’s teams look to finish strong next weekend in Oshkosh, WI.