INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Blugolds.com) – The ninth-ranked UW-Eau Claire men's cross country team will compete next Saturday (Nov. 23) at the 2013 NCAA Division III Championship, NCAA officials announced today.
The Blugolds earned their way to nationals with an at-large selection after taking fourth at the Midwest Regional yesterday, their best finish since the 1998 season. Eau Claire has had a good season so far and also took second at the WIAC Championship on Nov. 2.
A season ago the Blugolds claimed 10th place at the NCAA Championship, the highest finish ever at NCAA nationals. The highest finish the Blugolds had previously achieved at the NCAA Championship was 11th place in 1998. This is just the fifth time in history the Blugolds will be competing as a team at the NCAA Division III Championship.
Competing for the Blugolds will be: Paul Hetke (Sr.-Chetek, Wis.), Christian Leitner (So.-Red Wing, Minn.), Ryan Mugan (So.-Howards Grove, Wis.), Nick Petersson (So.-Brookfield, Wis./Central), Erik Rosvold (Jr.-Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview), Matt Scott (Sr.-Kiel, Wis.) and Matt Wenaas (Sr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell). The Blugolds' alternate will be Michael Bushar (Fr.-Weston, Wis./D.C. Everst).
Thirty-two teams were selected to participate in the championship. The top two, seven-person teams automatically qualified from each of the eight regions, for a total of 16 teams. Sixteen additional teams were selected at-large.
Fifty-six individuals, the first seven athletes from each region who are not a part of a qualifying team, were also selected to participate in the championship.
Hanover will host the men's and women's championships, Nov. 23, at its nationally renowned cross country course in Hanover, Ind. The women's race will begin at 11 a.m. ET followed by the men's race at 12:30 p.m. ET.