Cross Country Sprints to NCAAs

After a successful Midwest Regional meet, the men’s and women’s cross country teams look forward to racing at the NCAA Division III Championships in Wisconsin this weekend.

By Miranda Burt

The University of Chicago men’s and women’s cross country teams travel to Winneconne, Wisconsin, this weekend to compete in the NCAA Division III Championships. Both teams earned an at-large bid to the championships. The two teams are coming off impressive performances at a snowy Midwest regionals this past Saturday that the teams believe will help them when facing another cold-weather championship meet

Women’s third-year Sydney Smith spoke of the season the two teams have had so far. “This season we have had a number of remarkable finishes! Both our women and men’s team have worked incredibly hard this season, and I really think it shows in our top placements at each race this season! I contribute a lot of success to veterans such as Sophie Elgamal, Claire Brockway, Maggie Boudreau, Ryan Cutter, Tim Koenning, Chase Gardner, and many more who have continued to lead our team week after week. Additionally, our freshman squad is one of the most talented that I have seen, and they too have been large factor in our success this season.” 

The women came in fourth in the region, scoring a total of 118 points. They were led by second-years Sophie Elgamal (10th, 22:08.1) and Emma Dyer (25th, 22:42.3) and third-years Maggie Boudreau (21st, 22:36.4) and Claire Brockway (23rd, 22:40.3). All of these women earned All-Region accolades.

On the men’s side, three underclassman led the way to a sixth place finish behind 166 points. All-Region honorees were second-years Ryan Cutter (15th, 25:03.9) and Chase Gardner (33rd, 25:33.7) as well as first-year Henry Myers (22nd, 25:18.7). 

Smith spoke on the teams’ chances at the upcoming championship meet, “These are two of the deepest cross country teams I’ve seen since being here, and I look forward to many noteworthy performances at nationals.”

32 teams will compete at the national championships. 16 of these teams are automatic qualifiers, and 16 are at-large teams like the Maroons. This marks the ninth year in a row the women have qualified to compete in the championships. The women will look to follow an impressive 2017 showing, where then fourth-year Khia Kurtenbach won the individual national title, and the team as a whole placed 14th. The women’s team took fourth place at the NCAA meet in 2013, their highest program finish. The Maroon men return to the championships for the first time since 2015 and will look to top their highest program finish—ninth place in 2005. 

The women’s race will commence at 11 a.m. with the men following at noon at the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh.