UWO to host cross country championships

Jordan Fremstad

The National Collegiate Athletics Associate determined the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will host the 2018 Division III Cross Country Championships.

The NCAA announced on April 18 that more than 600 sites will host the preliminary rounds and finals of predetermined championships in all three divisions from 2017-18 through 2021-22.

UWO cross country coach Eamon McKenna said the championships will give the University an opportunity to show off its prestige.

“Hosting another national championship is an awesome opportunity for our cross country program here at UW Oshkosh,” McKenna said. “It helps recruiting for not only us, but for all state schools that are competing for recruits against schools out of state or schools that are Division I or II. Student athletes are drawn to the opportunity to compete at a championship meet in their home state.”

The 2018 championships will take place at Lake Breeze Golf Club in Winneconne on Nov. 18. UWO was also awarded the 2019 D-III cross country Midwest regional at the same location.

The UWO athletics department released a statement on why Oshkosh is a great place to host a championship.

“We are excited to host and show everyone what Oshkosh has to offer,” the athletic department said. “It is the entire city: the hotels, restaurants, Lake Breeze Golf Club, and the community all support this event by providing great customer service through great lodging, food, facilities, and volunteers.”

It is not the first time UWO has hosted the championships. The Titans have put on the big stage in 1999, 2011 and 2015. The University has also put on the Midwest Regional in 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2016.

Assistant athletic director Victoria Stimac said the event wouldn’t be possible without a lot of hard work.

“It is a great venue we have here and I work with really great people who make it all happen,” Stimac said.

McKenna said it was a bit of a shock to host twice in the last four years.

“We were very pleased to hear the news about hosting another NCAA Championship,” McKenna said. “We were slightly surprised we were up so early in the rotation since we just hosted.”

The 2015 championship was composed of 280 runners in the women’s race from 81 institutions and 280 participants in the men’s race from 79 institutions.

The NCAA received more than 3,000 bid submissions from NCAA member schools, conferences, sports commissions and cities looking to host 84 of the NCAA’s 90 championships. A total of 600 venues were selected in this cycle.