The College of Wooster men's cross country team turned in its best result at the North Coast Athletic Conference Championships in 10 years, as the Fighting Scots placed third among 10 schools, while the women matched their seventh-place finish from a season ago during chilly running conditions Saturday at the Robertson Athletic Complex in Meadville, Pa.
Not only was it the men's first third-place finish since 2003, but it was also a four-spot improvement over their seventh-place showing last fall.
The Fighting Scot men had three runners earn all-NCAC honors, but none more noteworthy than Derrick Marshall, who placed 49th at last season's meet, but was 10th in 27:31.5 this time around, which was good for second-team all-conference. Right behind him was standout Luke Hutchings-Goetz, who crossed the finish line in 11th-place at 27:33.9, which made him all-conference (second-team) for the second year in a row.
Finally, Morgan Clark earned some redemption with his 20th-place finish (28:10.4), as he came in ahead of the all-conference cut (top-21), after just missing it by one last year with 22nd-place. He was named all-conference honorable mention.
The women's seventh-place showing, while the same as last season, may have been more impressive this time around, as they did it without two-time all-conference standout Erin Plews-Ogan (who was lost to graduation), and instead had a pair of newcomers leading the way.
Crossing the finish line first for the Scots was first-year, Kayla Zboran, who just missed out on being named all-conference with 22nd-place in 24:37.6. Not too far behind was fellow first-year, Emily Reid, as she clocked in 11 seconds behind Zboran in 24:48.6, which was 29th-overall.
Lauren Buyan turned in a nearly identical performance to her effort last season, placing 30th in 24:50.3 (28th last year), while Allison Chin (25.58.7) and Ann Berkow (26.21.1) rounded out Wooster's scorers in 43rd and 49th, respectively.
The women's competition was won by Oberlin College, although Denison University's Olivia Galano was the individual champion in 23:07.0, while the men's team title went to Wabash College, with Allegheny College's Bobby Over earning his second-straight first-place finish at NCAC's, this time in 26:35.0.