WU Women Place Second, Men Third, at NCAA Midwest Champs
Oshkosh, Wis., November 14, 2009 – The Washington University in St. Louis women’s cross country team placed second out of a field of 39 teams, and the men’s team came in third, at the 2009 NCAA Division III Midwest Region Championships on Saturday, Nov. 14, at the Lake Breeze Golf Course in Winneconne, Wis.
By placing in the top-two of the women’s field, Washington U. has secured a trip to the 2009 NCAA Division III Championships, to be held Saturday, Nov. 21, at the Highland Park Golf Course in Cleveland, Ohio. The Bears will be making their sixth-straight and ninth overall appearance at the NCAA Championship. Washington University placed 12th at the 2008 NCAA meet.
For the Washington University men, they will now be eligible for an at-large berth to the NCAA Championships as a top-five finisher at the Midwest Regional meet. The WU men’s team has made four trips to the NCAA Division III Championships in the programs history, the last coming in 2006. The official 2009 NCAA Championship field announcement will be made on Sunday, Nov. 15, at www.ncaa.com.
"I thought that our women’s team ran really well today, and our men’s team had an awesome day," Washington University head cross country and track and field coach Jeff Stiles said. "We are in one of the toughest regions in the country and I think that five teams have a shot at making it to nationals, so we are in really good shape."
The WU men’s finished behind top-ranked North Central College, who tallied a team score of 21 points, and second-ranked University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, who had a team score of 105. The Bears, who are unranked in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Top-35 poll, tallied a team score of 118, which was better than six teams currently ranked in the national poll, three of which are in the top-15.
No. 8 University of Wisconsin-Platteville placed fourth with a team-score of 124, and No. 25 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire rounded out the top-five with a 169 points. Fifth-ranked University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point placed sixth, No. 11 Augustana College came in seventh and No. 20 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater came in eighth.
All five of the Washington U. men and women to score earned NCAA All-Midwest Region accolades, which are awarded to the meet’s top-35 finishers. The WU men were paced by sophomore Michael Burnstein, who came in 16th overall with a time of 24:53.
Finishing just five seconds behind Burnstein in 20th place was junior Dave Spandorfer (24:58), and sophomore Matthew Schwab came in 21st with a time of 25:02. Junior Kwin Keuter was the fourth Bear to score, coming in 26th place with a time of 25:08, and sophomore Malik Nabulsi rounded out the WU top-five with a time of 25:20, good for 35th place.
Junior Taryn Surtees was the runner-up in the women’s race, finishing the 6k course with a time of 21:07, which was 15 seconds behind the Midwest Region individual champion Ayla Mitchell, from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, who came in fourth place as a team. For the WU All-American Surtees, it was her best-ever showing at the NCAA regional meet, she placed fifth as a sophomore and 14th during her freshman campaign.
Third-ranked Wisconsin-Eau Claire won the women’s race with a team score of 52 points, which was 20 points ahead of second-place Washington U. Wisconsin-La Crosse came in third with 98 points and North Central rounded out the top-five on the women’s side with 208 points.
Sophomore Liz Phillips came in seventh-place overall for the Bears, with a time of 21:42. Senior Molly Schlamb placed 13th with a time of 22:00, and six seconds behind Schlamb in 15th place was junior Jessica Londeree, running the course in 22:06. Rounding out the top-five was junior Sangeeta Hardy, whose time of 22:48 was good for 35th