GREENWOOD, IN – The HCAC men’s and women’s cross country championships will take place Saturday, October 31 at Blue River Memorial Park in Shelbyville, Indiana. The event will be hosted by Franklin College with the women’s race beginning at Noon and the men’s race at 1PM.
Rose-Hulman will look to claim a second-straight men’s conference championship at the event, while the Hanover women will run for a third-straight title. Manchester will look to dethrone the Engineers on the men’s side and the Panthers on the women’s side.
The Engineers have been paced by two individuals this season. Matt Hill (Connersville, Ind.) placed second overall at the Rose-Hulman Pre-Regional meet with a time of 26:37.0 and ran his best time (25:29.2) at the University of Evansville, placing sixth among Division I, II and III runners. Sam Sobczak (Westfield, Ind.) also posted his top time at Evansville, finishing 10th overall with a time of 25:52.3.
Rose-Hulman has fared well against conference competition this season. The Engineers were the highest placing HCAC school at both events they competed against fellow conference members.
The Engineers currently stand seventh in the Great Lakes Region in a poll released by USTFCCCA.
Manchester will strive to claim the top spot as conference champs this weekend. The Spartans have been paced by Thomas Dean (Bremen, Ind.) and Alex Gudeman (Rochester, Ind.) this season. Dean has led the Spartans three times this fall, posting a school-record time at the Oberlin Inter-Regional Rumble with a mark of 25:10.8. Gudeman won the individual title at the Franklin Grizzly Invitational in early September, finishing the course with a time of 27:17.1.
The Hanover women enter Saturday’s championship as the favorite to repeat. The Panthers led the conference field at two different meets this season.
Hanover has been paced by senior Teresa Wiczynski (Columbus, Ind.) for much of the fall. Wiczynski was the top Hanover finisher at the Franklin Grizzly Invitational, Greater Louisville Classic, and Wilmington #JennaStrong Invitational. The senior posted her best 5K time at the Wilmington #JennaStrong Invite with a mark of 18:37.8 and claimed a 6K time of 24:11.7 at Franklin.
Manchester’s Mariah Jordan (Ft. Wayne, Ind.) has been solid this fall, earning the conference’s Runner of the Week award two times. Jordan won the individual title at the Franklin Invitational and placed second overall at the Oberlin Inter-Regional Rumble. Jordan finished the Oberlin meet with her best 6K time of the year (21:15.8).
Defiance’s Eme Miller (Portland, Ind.) will look to challenge for the individual title this weekend. The junior finished second overall among 343 runners at the Wilmington #JennaStrong Invitational, setting a new school-record with a 5K time of 18:22.4.
The top 12 finishers on the men’s and women’s side will be named All-HCAC, while the top freshman finisher will be named Freshman of the Year. Individuals who finish 13th through 20th at the conference meet will be named honorable mention All-HCAC.
The women will compete on a 6K course Saturday while the men will run the 8K course. Action will get underway with the women’s race at 12:00 PM followed by the men’s race at 1:00 PM.
Awards will be presented at the finish line at about 2:00 PM.