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NCAC Cross Country Championship Central

Oberlin junior Linnea Halsten (L) & DePauw senior Polo Burgete (R)
Oberlin junior Linnea Halsten (L) & DePauw senior Polo Burgete (R)

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Eight-time NCAC women’s cross country champion Oberlin has been tabbed as the favorites for the 2017 title, while the DePauw Tigers have been predicted to win their first NCAC men’s cross country title based on pre-championship balloting by the conference coaches. 

The 2017 NCAC Cross Country Championships will be held this Saturday, October 28th, at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. The women’s 6K race is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m., followed by the men’s 8k race at 11:45 a.m. CLICK HERE to access Oberlin’s championship website. 


2017 NCAC Cross Country Championships
Oberlin's Championship Site
Championship Program Women's 6K Course Men's 8K Course Live Results NCAC History


The Yeowomen, who last won the league title in 2014, earned all eight first-place votes cast by the league coaches to accumulate 64 total points at the top of the poll. Kenyon, which is in search of its first NCAC title since 2008, checked in at second with 55 points, while Allegheny finished third with 49 points and is aiming for its league-leading 14th cross country title. DePauw checked in at fourth with 38 points, followed by Ohio Wesleyan (34), Denison (23), Wooster (17) and Wittenberg (8). 

The DePauw men, who finished second at the NCAC Championships last year, earned seven of the nine available first-place votes to top the poll with 79 total points. Allegheny, which has won back-to-back league titles, earned one first-place vote and finished second with 71 points, while Wabash collected the final first-place vote and landed in the third spot with 66 total points. Ohio Wesleyan checked in at fourth with 53 points, followed by Wooster (45), Denison (35), Oberlin (29), Kenyon (17) and Wittenberg (10). 

There will be a first-time NCAC individual women’s champion in 2017 with just two 2016 first-team performers returning to the field this weekend. Leading the pack will be Oberlin junior Linnea Halsten (Madison, WI/East) who has earned first-team laurels in each of her first two seasons, which included a fifth-place finish in 2016 with a 6k time of 22:29.8. Allegheny junior Sarah Hevener (Hilliard, OH/Bradley) also returns to the field after finishing sixth overall in 2016 in 22:48.0. In addition, Oberlin sophomore Marija Crook (Carrboro, NC/Chapel Hill) is back after winning the 2016 NCAC Newcomer of the Year award as the top finisher in their first year of collegiate competition, finishing 10th overall in 23:37.1. Several athletes from the 2016 All-NCAC second team will also be looking to crack the top-seven this year, led by Allegheny junior Emily Forner (Beaver, PA/Beaver Area) who finished eighth overall with a time of 23:23.5.

The race for the 2017 NCAC men’s individual title will be extremely tight as three of the seven first-team finishers from last fall will be vying for the top spot this year. DePauw junior Zach Batt (Stafford, VA/North Stafford) finished second in 2016 with an 8K time of 25:36.9, while his classmate Paul Christian (Glen Ellyn, IL/Glenbard West) will be looking for his second-straight top-seven finish after placing fourth overall last year in 25:43.1. Christian also won the 2015 NCAC Newcomer of the Year award after finishing 12th overall that year in 26:00.4. Wabash junior Dominic Patacsil (West Lafayette, IN/West Lafayette) finished just behind Christian last year in fifth-place with a time of 25:43.8 to round out the list of returning first-team performers from 2016. There are also several runners from the 2016 All-NCAC second team that will be vying for a spot in the top-seven this year, highlighted by DePauw senior Polo Burgete (Distrito Federal, Mexico/Culver Academy) who finished eighth overall last fall in 26:08.8.

2017 NCAC Cross Country Pre-Championship Coaches' Polls
(first-place votes in parentheses, followed by total point)

1. Oberlin (8)  64   1. DePauw (7)  79
2. Kenyon  55   2. Allegheny (1)  71
3. Allegheny  49   3. Wabash (1)  66
4. DePauw  38   4. Ohio Wesleyan  53
5. Ohio Wesleyan  34   5. Wooster  45
6. Denison  23   6. Denison  35
7. Wooster  17   7. Oberlin  29
8. Wittenberg    8   8. Kenyon  17
        9.  Wittenberg  10