UW-Oshkosh will run against four nationally ranked teams when it competes at the WIAC Men's Cross Country Championship on Saturday (Oct. 28) in Whitewater. The 57th league championship (Presented by Culver's) is set for noon at UW-Whitewater's Campus Trails.
UW-La Crosse enters the WIAC Championship ranked fourth in the NCAA Division III by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Three-time defending league champion UW-Eau Claire ranks 18th nationally while UW-Stout is 21st and UW-Platteville 31st.
UW-Eau Claire claimed last year's league title with 41 points. UW-La Crosse placed second to the Blugolds with 50 points while UW-Platteville was third with 100, UW-Oshkosh fourth with 129, UW-Stevens Point fifth with 144, UW-Stout sixth with 152, UW-River Falls seventh with 175 and UW-Whitewater eighth with 179.
UW-Oshkosh's lineup for this year's league race features five runners with prior WIAC Championship experience, including Jacob Rost who placed 46th at the conference meet last season and 49th in 2015.
UW-Oshkosh had a quartet of runners among the top 10 at the Roy Griak Invitational on Sept. 23 in Falcon Heights, Minn., as Weber placed second, Juarez fifth, McKnight seventh and Chadwick 10th.
Completing the Titans' top-10 individual showings this season were Chadwick in fourth and McKnight in seventh place at the Gene Davis Invitational in Appleton on Oct. 7, Weber in fourth and Juarez in ninth at the UW-Oshkosh Kollege Town Sports Invitational on Oct. 14, and Krueger in fifth and Bevry in eighth at the UW-Oshkosh Open on Oct. 20.
Returning runners that secured All-WIAC honors at previous conference championships are UW-Eau Claire's Riley Huffman (19th in 2016), Sam Kuhlmann (15th in 2016), Darin Lau (ninth in 2014, fourth in 2015 and second in 2016), Brandon Paucek (18th in 2015) and Patrick Treacy (eighth in 2016); UW-La Crosse's Ian Ewers (11th in both 2015 and 2016), Sam Hinz (12th in 2016), Josh Schraeder (16th in 2016), Thomas Schultz (fourth in 2016), Jonah Weisse (eighth in 2014, 15th in 2015 and 10th in 2016) and Austin Zajkowski (10th in 2015 and 13th in 2016); and UW-Whitewater's Brett Harms (eighth in 2015 and third in 2016).
The top seven runners in the 8,000-meter race will receive All-WIAC first team recognition while runners placing eight through 14 earn All-WIAC second team accolades. Individuals finishing 15 through 20 claim honorable mention laurels.
UW-La Crosse has claimed a record 32 WIAC Championship titles since the event began in 1961. UW-Oshkosh is second in the league with 10 titles, including back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013.