The Middlebury College women's and men's cross country teams will both compete in the 2018 NCAA Championship races hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. The women earned an automatic berth into the meet, while the men garnered an at-large spot. The races will take place on November 17 at the Lake Breeze Golf Club in Winneconne, Wisconsin. The women's race will begin at 12:15 p.m. eastern standard time, followed by the men's race at 1:15 p.m.
The 13th-ranked men are making their ninth-straight trip to the NCAA Championship meet. The Panthers have finished in 26th place or better in the previous seven championship races, highlighted by a seventh-place finish in 2013. Middlebury earned its way into the event after placing third in the NCAA New England Regional race last weekend. On the conference level, the Panthers won their first NESCAC title in 2010 followed by another crown three years later in 2013. This fall, Middlebury earned a third-place finish at the league meet with 88 points.
Competing for the men will be senior captains Miles Meijer and Andrew Michelson, along with classmates Harrison Knowlton and Jonathan Perlman. Joining them will be juniors Henry Fleming and Theo Henderson, along with sophomore Matt D'Aquila.
Perlman has run to a top-10 spot in three races this fall, including a ninth-place finish at the NESCAC Championship with a time of 25:57.6 over the 8K course. Last Saturday at the NCAA Regional, he led the Panthers to the line in 10th place (25:18.6).
Fleming is another point scorer for the Panther men this season. He has collected top-15 finishes in each of the last three races, placing 15th at both the Connecticut College Invitational (25:23.4) and the NESCAC Championship (26:11.2). During the NCAA Regional, he stopped the clock with mark of 25:27.97 to finish 14th.
The fifth-ranked women are making their 23rd-straight appearance at the event, looking for a seventh NCAA crown. The Panthers previously won titles in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2010 with second-place finishes in 1999, 2002, 2004 and 2011. Middlebury earned an automatic bid to the championships after a second-place finish at last weekend's NCAA New England Regional race. On a conference level, the Panthers have captured the NESCAC Championship on 14 different occasions, winning the team crown in 2018 with 47 points.
Making the trip for the Panther women will be senior captain Claire Gomba, along with classmates Rory Kelly and Abigail Nadler. Joining them will be junior Tate Serletti and sophomores Katherine Glew and Tasha Greene, along with first-year racer Cassie Kearney.
Kelly finished third at the NESCAC Championship with a time of 22:30.1 over the 6K course in late October. This season, she has finished in the top five during six of the seven races she has run, including a win during at the Aldrich Invitational hosted by Middlebury in September. Last weekend at the NCAA Regional meet, Kelly led the Panthers with a fifth-place finish in 21:37.61.
Kearney has also been a consistent top runner in her first season with the Panthers. She has garnered top-15 efforts in each of her five races, including a third-place finish (19:53.1) in the 5K Aldrich Invitational. Kearney was fourth at the NESCAC Championship in 22:35.9, followed by an eighth-place run last weekend at the regional (22:09.79).
Nadler, a three-time All-American, has worked her way into the lineup after an injury kept her out of the season's initial races. Last weekend at the NCAA Regional meet, she posted a time of 22:42.81 to finish in 28th place.