ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (Blugolds.com) - The UW-Eau Claire men's cross country team saved one of its best performances of the season for when it mattered most, placing fourth Saturday at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional, hosted by Augustana College at Saukie Golf Course.
The Blugolds finished the afternoon with 128 points to capture their best regional finish since 1998. They were only 27 away from second-place Washington University (Mo.). North Central (Ill.) won the meet with 56 points and UW-Oshkosh took third with 118. The Blugolds knocked off UW-La Crosse for the first time this season as the Eagles finished fifth. North Central and Washington University automatically qualify for nationals.
Ryan Mugan (So.-Howards Grove, Wis.) turned in the best run of his career, notching sixth place in a personal-best time of 24:33.7.
His teammate, Matt Scott (Sr.-Kiel, Wis.) answered Mugan's call and had his best collegiate performance as well, placing ninth in 24:42.9.
Matt Wenaas (Sr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) placed 31st overall in a time of 25:12.8 to get third for the Blugolds.
The Blugolds will now wait a day to see if they receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Championship next Saturday in Hanover, Ind. Selections will be announced Sunday on NCAA.com.