OBERLIN, Ohio — The top seven runners from Franciscan University's men's and women's cross country teams competed in the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional meet Saturday morning. As leaders of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference, Franciscan was prepared for the challenging race. The women finished in 16th place out of 39 teams with 457 points, while the men came in 13th out of 40 teams with 417 points. Junior Bill Jones is the first cross country runner in FUS history qualified for the NCAA Div. III National Championship.
Leading the Lady Barons on the day was sophomore Nicole Krajewski, finishing the 6K strong in 20th place at 22:23 and receiving All-Regional honors. Theresa Evans (22:56) finished in 51st place. With a mere four-second difference in times, Sara Mueller (24:04) and Molly Chambers (24:08) finished in 107th and 112th place, respectively. Mary Neven Brockway finished in 197th place (25:51) while Claire Bach came in at 201st (25:56).
"Both teams competed very well. This was a great way to finish off the season," said head coach Dan Kuebler. "We've had a great season and seen some incredible improvements in each runner."
Leading the Barons stronger than ever was Bill Jones, finishing the 8K with an impressive 24:50 to earn fourth place overall. This notable performance qualified Jones for the Div. III National Championship taking place in Oshkosh, Wis., next Saturday, Nov. 19. Jones is the only Franciscan runner to qualify.
Next for the Barons was Kevin LeRoy in 83rd place (26:54), Jack Kaiser in 101st place (27:15), Marcus Fluty in 110th place (27:20), and Joey Schlueter in 133rd place (27:32).
"Both teams ran well and are in great spirits," said the team Chaplin, Father Gregory Plow.