The Middlebury cross country teams have both qualified for the NCAA Championships after stellar performances at the NCAA Regionals hosted by Bowdoin. The #3 Panther women won the 53-team regional, topping NESCAC Champion and top-ranked Williams by five points. It is the fourth straight New England women's team title for the Panthers, who shared the top spot with MIT in 2009.
The Middlebury men earn their second straight NCAA Championship appearance after a program-best second place finish among 48 teams, just one point behind Williams. NESCAC Champion Michael Schmidt became an NCAA Regional Champion for the second straight year, covering the course in 24:39, 15 seconds ahead of his nearest opponent. The top two men's and women's teams both receive automatic team bids to next Saturday's NCAA Championships, to be held at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
The Panther women won the title by placing three runners in the top 10 of a 353-woman race. Senior Margo Cramer (Seattle, Wash.) finished the race fourth overall in 21:12, just four seconds ahead of junior Addie Tousley (Kensington, Md.), who placed fifth. Also earning a top 10 finish was senior Chelsea Ward-Waller (Washington, D.C.), who came in eighth place in 21:31. Finishing in 17th place was sophomore Emily Singer (Harrison, N.Y.) in 21:52, followed by senior Hannah Meier (Charlotte, Vt.) in 21st (22:00). Senior Claire McIlvennie (Ithaca, N.Y.) just missed earning team points in the race, finishing 22nd in 22:01, one second behind Meier.
Supporting Schmidt for the #16 Panther men were junior Jack Davies (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) in 14th place (25:08) and sophomore Nate Sans (Princeton, Mass.) with a 17th place finish (25:11). Sophomore Greg Krathwohl (Ipswich, Mass.) and junior Patrick Hebble (Sudbury, Mass.) rounded out the Panther scorers in 28th (25:22) and 29th (25:23) places respectively.