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Freshmen Lead Titans At WIAC Cross Country Championship

Michael Juarez led UW-Oshkosh at this year's WIAC Championship with a 19th-place finish.
Michael Juarez led UW-Oshkosh at this year's WIAC Championship with a 19th-place finish.

UW-Oshkosh's top three runners were freshmen as Michael Juarez placed 19th, Cody Chadwick 26th and Lucas Weber 37th at the WIAC Men's Cross Country Championship (Presented by Culver's) on Saturday (Oct. 28) in Whitewater.

Juarez completed the 8,000-meter race of 92 participants with a time of 25:51 while Chadwick finished in 26:12 and Weber in 26:28. The Titans also had freshmen Skyler Yunk place 62nd with a time of 27:14, Noah Bruell 64th in 27:16 and Noah O'Neill 85th in 29:11. 

UW-Eau Claire's Darin Lau won the individual title with a time of 24:38. He previously finished second at the WIAC Championship in 2016, fourth in 2015 and ninth in 2014.

UW-La Crosse owned the second and third-place finishers as Thomas Schultz listed second with a time of 25:06 and Josh Schraeder third in 25:09. Zach Lee and Walker Rynes of UW-Platteville finished fourth and fifth with times of 25:10 and 25:11, respectively. 

UW-La Crosse, which finished second to UW-Eau Claire at the 2016 WIAC Championship, captured this year's team title with 35 points. The league championship was the 33rd for the Eagles and first since 2013.

UW-Stout placed second in this year's team competition with 64 points while UW-Eau Claire finished third with 81, UW-Platteville fourth with 113, UW-Whitewater fifth with 129, UW-Stevens Point sixth with 133, UW-Oshkosh seventh with 165 and UW-River Falls eighth with 260.

UW-La Crosse entered the WIAC Championship ranked fourth in the NCAA Division III by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. UW-Eau Claire ranked 18th nationally while UW-Stout listed 21st and UW-Platteville 31st.

UW-Oshkosh compiled its team score with the help of Juarez, Chadwick, Weber, Yunk and Dan Massey. Massey finished 49th in the race with a time of 26:55.

Also representing the Titans at this year's WIAC Championship were Bennett Krueger, Jacob Rost, Brian McKnight, Corbin Bevry and Henry Laste.

Krueger finished 63rd with a time of 27:15 while Rost placed 74th in 27:35, McKnight 78th in 27:57, Bevry 79th in 27:59 and Laste 83rd in 28:57.

The top seven runners received All-WIAC first team recognition, while runners placing eight through 14 earned All-WIAC second team accolades. Individuals finishing 15 through 20 claimed honorable mention laurels.

All eight WIAC teams will participate at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional on Nov. 11 in Rock Island, Ill. The NCAA Division III Championship will be held Nov. 18 in Elsah, Ill.

2017 WIAC Men's Cross Country Championship Website