UW-Oshkosh will run against six of the top 20 teams in the nation at Saturday's (Nov. 10) NCAA Division III Men's Cross Country Midwest Regional in Colfax.
The 8,000-meter race, which involves over 300 runners from nearly 35 schools located in the states of Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin, begins at noon from the Whitetail Golf Course.
UW-Oshkosh, which has finished among the top 11 teams at each of the past 34 regionals, placed 10th with 312 points at the 2017 Midwest Regional held in Rock Island, Ill. The Titans have claimed four Midwest Regional crowns, including back-to-back titles in 2002-03.
The top two teams from Saturday's meet will secure an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Championship, which will be hosted by UW-Oshkosh on Nov. 17 at the Lake Breeze Golf Club in Winneconne. This will be the Titans fourth time hosting the national championship (1999, 2011 and 2015).
Sixteen other at-large bids will be awarded from the nation's eight total regions. The top seven individual finishers from each region not on one of the qualifying teams will also earn an invitation to the national championship.
Defending national and Midwest Regional champion North Central College (Ill.) enters Saturday's race as the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's top-ranked team in the nation. The Cardinals won last year's Midwest Regional with 34 points before going on to win its division-record 18th national title with 57. North Central College has also won the Midwest Regional a record 29 times.
Also representing the nation's elite in Colfax are second-ranked Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.), fifth-ranked UW-La Crosse, 14th-ranked UW-Eau Claire, 16th-ranked UW-Stout and 18th-ranked University of Chicago (Ill.).
Following North Central College in last year's 36-team Midwest Regional standings were second-place UW-La Crosse with 81 points, third-place Washington University in St. Louis with 124, fourth-place UW-Eau Claire with 133 and fifth-place UW-Stout with 159.
UW-Oshkosh runners returning to compete at this year's Midwest Regional are sophomores Cody Chadwick, Michael Juarez and Lucas Weber. Weber finished 37th last year while Chadwick placed 39th and Juarez 44th.
Weber led the Titans with an eighth-place listing at the WIAC Championship held Oct. 27 in Colfax while Chadwick finished 12th and Juarez 40th.
Making their Midwest Regional debut for the Titans are freshmen Kiernan Koepke and Steven Potter, sophomore Andrew George and junior Justin Skinkis. Skinkis led the foursome with a 33rd-place ranking at the 2018 WIAC Championship while George finished 42nd.
Two of the top four runners from last year's Midwest Regional return to race on Saturday as North Central College's Dhruvil Patel finished second and UW-Platteville's Zach Lee fourth.
Written by Ally Gwidt, UW-Oshkosh Sports Information