Weekend Recap: NCAA DIII Conference Championships Weekend

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It’s OFFICIALLY the postseason in NCAA Division III Cross Country!

All roads lead to the 2021 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships, which will be held on Saturday, November 20, at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park in Louisville, Kentucky.

From The USTFCCCA InfoZone: Meets & Results | USTFCCCA Scoreboard

There are a few stops along the way, though, beginning today with the continuation of Conference Championships Weekend. After one set of league titles were handed out on Friday, 38 will be awarded today with two more going out on Sunday to close things out.

Here are a few meets that caught our eye on Conference Championships Weekend.

NESCAC Cross Country Championships

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Men’s 8k Championship

No. 3 Williams had its hands full trying to defend its conference title against No. 14 Middlebury. When the dust settled, though, the Ephs held the trophy high above their heads thanks to a 51-59 victory. Williams, led by a 3-4 finish by Elias Lindgren and Grahm Tuohy-Gaydos, put all of its scoring athletes in the top-20. The runner-up Panthers had four in the top-11, but their fifth runner finished 29th. No. 30 Colby took a surprising third, while No. 31 Tufts and No. 25 Bates were fourth and fifth, respectively.

Tyler Morris of Colby earned the individual title in 24:28.70. Zander Kessler of Middlebury finished second in 25:05.40 with Lindgren (25:11.50) and Tuohy-Gaydos (25:12.80) close behind. Walter Wagude of Tufts (25:17.60) rounded out the top-5 individuals.

Women’s 6k Championship

Six different programs had at least one runner among the top-10 individuals, but No. 6 Williams showcased its depth to hold off a strong charge from a number of ranked teams to win the conference title on Saturday. The Ephs scored 65 points, 13 fewer than runner-up Tufts (78) and 28 fewer than third-place No. 16 Middlebury (93). No. 15 Bates (94) and No. 19 Amherst (151) rounded out the top-5 teams.

Danielle Page of Tufts won the individual title in 22:29.4, just about 30 seconds ahead of runner-up Cassie Kearney of Middlebury (22:59.5). Genna Girard of Williams led the team champion with a third-place finish in 23:06.8, while Anna Slager (fourth, 23:18.5) and Meghan Davis (fifth, 23:30.6) gave Tufts a total of three runners in the top-5.

UAA Cross Country Championships

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Men’s 8k Championship

No. 17 Carnegie Mellon defended its team title on Saturday, as it put three runners in the top-6 and all of its athletes in the top-20 for 47 points. No. 13 Washington (Mo.) finished second with 59 points with four runners in the top-15, while No. 20 UChicago ended up third with 63 points thanks to a first- and fourth-place individual. Emory, the top-ranked team in the field at No. 9, took fourth with 94 points and No. 27 Case Western Reserve rounded out the top-5 with 110.

Henry Myers of UChicago captured the individual title in 25:39.0. Behind him were two CMU athletes – Michael Obroin (second, 25:40.0) and Matthew Karee (third, 25:50.4) – while Myers’ teammate Sam Craig finished fourth at 25:40.9 and Jack Begley of CWRU was fifth at 25:46.5.

Women’s 6k Championship

Depth once again proved superior, as No. 5 Washington (Mo.) put all five of its scoring athletes in the top-10 to score 32 points and win the conference title. No. 7 UChicago only trailed the Bears by eight points at 4k, but faded down the stretch to finish a distant second with 64 points. No. 17 Carnegie Mellon ended up third with 79 points, followed by No. 18 Emory (119) and No. 29 Case Western Reserve (121).

Claudia Hartnett of UChicago earned the individual title in 22:28.7. Annika Urban of Emory took runner-up honors in 22:35.0, while Jana Fisher of CWRU was third in 22:44.4. WashU would soon blanket the finish line as the next four finishers were all Bears: Emily Konkus (fourth, 22:56.9), Lindsay Ott (fifth, 23:02.8), Kiera Olson (sixth, 23:06.4), Emma Walter (seventh, 23:08.5).

SCIAC Cross Country Championships

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Men’s 8k Championship

No. 7 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps went 1-3, but No. 2 Pomona-Pitzer’s depth was the difference as the Sagehens won, 34-42. Not only did Pomona-Pitzer have its five scorers ahead of the Stags’ No. 3 runner, but the Hens put all seven before CMS’s third finisher. It was PP’s first SCIAC title since 2018. Occidental earned third place with 119 points, followed by La Verne (123) and Redlands (133).

Henry Pick of CMS led the way with a 24:24.7 time, with PP’s Ethan Widlansky finishing runner-up at 24:30.0. Stevie Steinberg of CMS (24:34.6), Benjamin White of Whittier (24:37.6) and Tucker Cargile of Redlands (24:46.9) rounded out the top-5.

Women’s 6k Championship

What was expected to be a close race between No. 2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and No. 3 Pomona-Pitzer turned into a surprising rout for the Athenas, who went 1-2-4-5-6 to total 18 points for the victory and their 11th consecutive conference title. The Sagehens were second with 51, while Caltech (103), Redlands (107) and Chapman (123) finished out the top-5.

Meredith Bloss led a 1-2 CMS finish in 21:25.4 ahead of Riley Harmon (21:28.8). The Sagehens’ Genevieve DiBari (21:34.7) was third, followed by two more Athenas in Natalie Bitetti (21:47.6) and Emily Clarke (21:56.3).

Centennial Conference Cross Country Championships

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Men’s 8k Championship

The expected tight team contest played out, with co-No. 22 Haverford dominating the high finishers in holding off No. 21 Johns Hopkins, 37-45. Just one point separated them two weeks ago at the Rowan Inter-Regional Border Battle, with the Blue Jays getting the nod that time. The Fords thus won their sixth Centennial crown in seven seasons – their only loss during that streak was a close runner-up finish to Johns Hopkins in 2019. No. 35 Dickinson finished third with 83 points ahead of Swarthmore (102) and Ursinus (134).

Christopher Scharf of Dickinson won the individual title, leading wire-to-wire in clocking 25:22.0 to win by 10.4 seconds. Haverford’s Ryan Kredell (25:32.4) was runner-up, followed by Matthew Kleiman of Johns Hopkins (25:45.3), Aidan Cantine of Swarthmore (25:50.9) and Haverford’s Max Brelig (25:55.8).

Women’s 6k Championship

No. 1 Johns Hopkins was dominant, as it placed all five scorers in the top-8 to win its 14th-consecutive Centennial team trophy, scoring 26 points. The Blue Jays put runners No. 6 and No. 7 in the 10th and 11th positions for good measure and had four more non-scorers in the top-20. No. 10 Dickinson, led by individual champ Isabel Cardi, claimed runner-up honors with 64 points, with No. 28 Haverford (97), Swarthmore (121) and Ursinus (149) rounding out the top-5 teams.

Cardi separated from Haverford’s Isabella Miller before the 2-mile point and won convincingly in 21:48.5, nine seconds up on Miller’s 21:57.5. Ashley Heidenrich led the Blue Jays’ flock in third (22:00.8) as teammates Alex Ross (22:01.9) and Paloma Hancock (22:34.8) completed the individual top-5.

A-R-C Cross Country Championships

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Men’s 8k Championship

No. 1 Wartburg had little trouble winning a fourth-straight team title, storming to a score of 20 points with four in the top-5 and five in the top-8. No. 18 Loras, a fast-riser in the National Coaches’ Poll, was runner-up with 58 points, while RV Simpson (80), Luther (110) and Central (Iowa) (134) completed the top-5.

Joe Freiburger of Wartburg won a third-straight individual title in 25:04.3, 6.6 seconds ahead of teammate Christopher Collet (25:10.9). Ryan Harvey of Loras (25:13.6) was third to break up the Knights, who followed with Morgan Shirley-Fairbairn (25:13.7) and Sam Pinkowski (25:26.1).

Women’s 6k Championship

No. 4 Wartburg was dominant with a 2-3-4-5-6 finish (and 7-9) to make up its 20-point total that extended its team-title streak to three. No. 35 Loras was runner-up with 62 points as RV Central (Iowa) finished third (77) ahead of Simpson (Iowa) (121) and Nebraska Wesleyan (148).

Kassie Rosenbum of Loras, twice ARC runner-up, turned the tables on defending champ Aubrie Fisher of Wartburg, cruising to victory in 20:43.0 for a whopping winning margin of 1:26.5 over Fisher (22:09.5). Riley Mayer (22:19.0), 2018 and 2019 champ Carina Collet (22:29.6) and Shaelyn Hostager (22:40.4) completed the individual top-5.

WIAC Cross Country Championships

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Men’s 8k Championship

Depth won the day as No. 11 UW-La Crosse overcame a 1-3-4 finish by No. 8 UW-Whitewater to capture the team title, 31-35. The Eagles saw its scoring athletes take spots 2-5-7-8-9 for a grand total of five runners in the top-10. No. 22 UW-Oshkosh ended up third with 95 points, followed by No. 29 UW-Eau Claire with 100 points and UW-Stout with 122 points.

David Fassbender of UW-Whitewater earned the individual title in 24:35.1, more than four seconds ahead of Ethan Gregg of UW-La Crosse, who finished runner-up in 24:39.5. Gunner Schlender and Christian Patzka were third (24:48.5) and fourth (24:51.1), respectively, for UW-Whitewater, while Isaac Wegner of UW-La Crosse rounded out the top-5 at 25:04.5.

Women’s 6k Championship

No. 11 UW-La Crosse rolled to its first conference title since 2016 on Saturday. The Eagles put four runners in the top-7 and ended up with 33 points. UW-La Crosse actually had all seven of its finishers done before all but one team had three. No. 20 UW-Eau Claire took runner-up honors with 62 points, followed by a virtual tie – that was settled by a tiebreaker – between UW-Oshkosh (83) and No. 25 UW-Stevens Point (83) and UW-Stout (119).

Hannah Lohrenz of UW-Oshkosh captured the individual title in 22:20.5, nearly 14 seconds ahead of runner-up Carolyn Shult of UW-Eau Claire (22:34.0). Jenna Lovejoy of UW-La Crosse was third in 22:34.3 with Rachel Krouse of UW-Stevens Point in fourth (22:35.1) and Emma Malooly of UW-La Crosse in fifth (22:40.2).