Three Titan runners to compete at Division III National Championship

Neal Hogden, Managing Editor

The UW Oshkosh cross-country team will be sending three runners to the NCAA Division III National Championship this weekend at Lake Breeze Country Club in Winneconne.

Graduate student Evlyn Noone and sophomores Lucas Weber and Cody Chadwick qualified for the meet via at-large bids after their performances in the Midwest Regional meet in Colfax last weekend.

Noone finished in eighth place overall out of 255 runners with a time of 22:06, less than a minute behind event winner Hannah Roeske of Wheaton College (Ill.) who posted a time of 21:22.

Noone said being able to run in the national championship on a familiar course will be a cool feeling.

“I’ve been running on this course since I was a freshman in high school, or even before that during middle school cross-country,” Noone said. “It’s pretty cool that my first year in cross-country, I make it to nationals and it’s on our home course. Almost like everything is coming together in a full circle.”

The women’s team came in 10th out of 36 team’s with 306 points. After Noone, the Titans top five included junior Amanda Van Den Plas in 44th, sophomore Hannah Lohrenz in 50th, junior Ashton Keene in 88th and freshman Alexis Reichardt in 119th place.

To advance to the national championship individually, runners had to place as one of the top-seven runners that will not be advancing to the national championship meet as part of a team.

From the Midwest Regional meet, the University of Chicago, UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse, Washington University in St. Louis and Wheaton College will all be advancing on the women’s side.

Noone will be joined by both Weber and Chadwick who placed 20th and 26th, respectively, on their way to at-large bids to the NCAA D-III Men’s Cross-Country National Championship.

Chadwick said it came down to a test of will during the middle of the race.

“The thing I think I did the best on was making the right decision when it hurt the most during the middle miles of the race,” Chadwick said. “Cross-country races can really be decided on a couple of moves in the middle of the race when some people are willing to hurt more than others.”

Chadwick said he is proud to represent UWO in the national meet hosted by his team.

“It’s awesome to be able to host nationals on our home course,” Chadwick said. “I don’t think it is a huge advantage when the gun goes off, but it is still really exciting to represent the Titans at our home course at nationals.”

The men’s team placed eighth on the day with sophomore Michael Juarez coming in 38th, freshman Steven Potter crossing the finish line in 67th and senior Justin Skinkis finishing in 79th.

Head coach Eamon McKenna said he was proud of the effort the men’s team put in as they ran one of their better races of the season.

“Our runners did a great job of mentally preparing to compete hard in those conditions,” McKenna said. “The men did an excellent job of executing their plan and in racing together. We have been hit pretty hard on the men’s side for the past three years with injuries and some other losses to the team, so it is exciting to have a young group of guys step up and start the process to making us relevant on the national stage again.”

The national championship will begin at 11:15 a.m. with the women’s 6,000-meter race. The men’s 8,000-meter race will begin at 12:15 p.m. at Lake Breeze Golf Club in Winneconne.