ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – Senior Khia Kurtenbach successfully defended her title and the University of Chicago cross country teams saw four runners earn all-region honors in Saturday's NCAA Division III Midwest Region Cross Country Championships.
Kurtenbach, who crossed the 6-kilometer regional finish line first for the second-straight year, beat the 263-runner field with a winning time of 20 minutes, 41 seconds. She joined senior Kelsey Dunn (21st, 21:33) and first-year Maggie Boudreau (31st, 21:47) with all-region performance to lead the Maroon women to a fifth-place team finish in the 37-team event.
Other solid performances from the women included senior Cassidy McPherson wasn't far behind Boudreau in 36th (21:47) and the pack of Abigail Shoemaker (42nd, 22:08), Claire Brockway (43rd, 22:08) and Claire Costelloe (46th, 22:11) rounded out the Maroons scorers.
Wisconsin Eau-Claire won the women's team event with 59 points, Washington-St. Louis was second with 75 and Wisconsin La Crosse took third place with 109 points.
Sophomore Ralph Patejunas led the way for a strong team finish for the men's team, who placed sixth in the 36-team event. Patejunas earned his first all-region honors with his 33rd place (24:27) as the Maroon men's team improved their finish by three places from 2016, when they took ninth. First-years Ryan Cutter (40th, 24:35) and Jordan Olson (41st, 24:36) aided in that improvement, and the Maroons also had strong finishes from Jacob Gosselin (50th, 24:51) and Peter Kreuch (62nd, 25:04).
North Central won the men's race with 34 points, Wisconsin-La Crosse was second (81) and Washington-St. Louis (124) third.
Both UChicago teams are now vying for an at-large spot in the NCAA Division III Championship. Sixteen at-large bids will be awarded from the nation's eight total regions. The field for nationals will be announced on NCAA.com on Sunday afternoon.
UChicago Women's Cross Country Top Finishers
Khia Kurtenbach, 1st, 20:41
Kelsey Dunn, 21st, 21:33
Maggie Boudreau, 31st, 21:47
Cassidy McPherson, 36th, 21:58
Abigail Shoemaker, 42nd, 22:08
Claire Brockway, 43rd, 22:08
Claire Costelloe, 46th, 22:11
UChicago Men's Cross Country Top Finishers
Ralph Patejunas, 33rd, 24:27
Ryan Cutter, 40th, 24:35
Jordan Olson, 41st, 24:36
Jacob Gosselin, 50th, 24:51
Peter Kreuch, 62nd, 25:04
Andrew Kates, 66th, 25:08
Charles Gardner, 75th, 25:20
Saturday, Nov. 18: UChicago at NCAA Division III Championships (Elsah, Ill.) 12 p.m. CT