The Nebraska Wesleyan men's cross country team won the NCAA III Central Region Championship on Saturday (Nov. 12) to advance to the NCAA III Cross Country Championships for the 15th consecutive season.
The NWU women placed fourth as a team and will find out on Sunday if they receive an at-large berth.
NWU men scored 93 team points to defeat St. Olaf by 14 points for the team championship. A total of 26 teams competed in the Central Regional.
Senior Mike Rathje led the way for NWU by placing 12th individually in a time of 25:43.7. Two more Prairie Wolves were in the top 15 as Jordan Rector placed 14th (25:48.0) and Ben Paben finished 15th (25:50.6). Parker Schoen was also in the top 25 by placing 22nd.
They now advance to the NCAA III Championships next Saturday (Nov. 19) in Oshkosh, Wis.
For the Nebraska Wesleyan women, the Prairie Wolves scored 96 points to finish fourth. Wartburg was first with 63, followed by Carleton (85) and St. Olaf (93).
Senior Hannah Kinberg continued her strong performance as she placed 10th overall in a time of 22:51.1. Hayley Sutter was 12th in a time of 22:32.9. Two other runners were in the top 25 as Ali Tewes was 16th (22:39.3) and Malaina Huebert was 22nd (22:53.9).
"I am very pleased with today," Coach Ted Bulling said. "Winning a Regional Championship over 26 other teams is very difficult. Our men know we had a chance to do that today and went out and got it done. Our women ran a solid race as well to earn fourth place. The quality of the region makes me very confident that we will receive an at large berth for the NCAA Championship. All of our runners have done the training that we believe in and are ready to run our very best next week."