Oshkosh, Wis., Nov. 15, 2014 – Seniors Lucy Cheadle and Drew Padgett swept the individual titles at the 2014 NCAA Division III Midwest Region Cross Country Championships. Cheadle's first-place finish propelled the Washington University women to the team title and an automatic bid to next week's NCAA Division III Championships, while Padgett led the WUSTL men to a fourth-place team finish.
"Today was about punching our tickets to nationals and both teams did what they needed to do," head coach Jeff Stiles said. "Both Ryan Becker and Annie Marggraff went down pretty hard midway through the races, and I was very proud of how they responded, both competing like champions. Lucy and Drew were outstanding, but the focus was and is completely on the team, so them scoring one point up front for us was huge."
The Washington U. women scored 62 points to with their sixth NCAA Midwest Region Championship in school history. The Bears also won regional titles in 2002, 2005-07 and 2011. The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse finished second in the meet with 91 points to edge the University of Chicago (99) for the second automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
North Central College (Ill.) ran away with its seventh consecutive title in the men's race, finishing with 51 points. The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire finished second with 108, while Wisconsin-La Crosse was third with 110 and Washington U. followed in fourth with 135.
A year after Cheadle became the first runner in school history to win an individual NCAA Regional title, she pulled away in the final 1,500 meters of the race to win by more than 10 seconds with a time of 20:55.5. Padgett held a slim two-second lead with about 3,000 meters to go, before winning by nearly nine seconds to become the first men's runner in school history to claim an individual regional championship.
The top-five finishers for the Washington U. women each earned all-region honors by finishing in the top-35 – Cheadle, junior Ellen Toennies, freshman Alison Lindsay, sophomore Kimberly Johnson and sophomore Sarah Curci. Padgett and junior Josh Clark each earned all-region accolades for the Washington U. men.
WOMEN – 6K
1. Lucy Cheadle – 20:55.5
4. Ellen Toennies – 21:30.7
7. Alison Lindsay – 21:41.7
22. Kimberly Johnson – 22:06.5
28. Sarah Curci – 22:18.2
40. Bri Tiffany – 22:31.7
54. Annie Marggraff – 22:54.1
MEN – 8K
Up Next: The Washington University women's team will return to action at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships Saturday, Nov. 22, in Mason, Ohio. The WUSTL men will await an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships, which will be announced Sunday, Nov. 16.