Sports

Middlebury runners off to NCAA

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Middlebury College cross country teams will compete this Saturday in the NCAA Division III Championship races hosted by Spaulding University and the Louisville Sports Commission.
The teams earned an at-large bid to the national race after competing in an NCAA Regional at Bowdoin College this past Saturday.  
Among the 54 teams at that Regional, the 22nd-ranked Middlebury women finished fifth, while the 21st-ranked men were sixth. Williams captured both the men’s and women’s races.
Middlebury’s top finisher on the women’s side was Talia Ruxin, who placed 22nd in 22:07. Meg Wilson covered the 6-kilometer course in 22:16, good for 25th, followed by Cassie Kearney in 27th (22:19). Next for the Panthers was Sophie Nardelli in 63rd place (22:56), while Chloe Smith rounded out Middlebury’s scorers in 72nd (23:04).
Theo Henderson earned Middlebury’s best finish by placing fourth in the men’s race in 24:59. Next up for the Panthers in 25th was Henry Fleming (25:34), followed by Connor Montgomery in 40th (25:56). Alexander Kessler covered the 8K course in 26:12 to place 57th, while Quinlan McGaugh rounded out the top five in 62nd (26:15).
The Panther women are making their 24th straight appearance at the event. The Panthers won titles in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2010 and finished second in 1999, 2002, 2004 and 2011.  
The Panther men are making their 10th straight trip to the NCAA championship meet. The Panthers have finished in 26th place or better in the previous eight national races, highlighted by a seventh place effort in 2013.

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