Four Pioneers Earn All-Region at NCAA Midwest

Four Pioneers Earn All-Region at NCAA Midwest

Four Pioneers earned All-Region honors at the NCAA Midwest Regional meet. Zach Lee and Walker Rynes finished 4th and 6th place in the 8,000m race. Their places will assure them an individual qualifying spot to the NCAA National meet next weekend. Johanna Meister and Katie Wardinski finished 11th and 15th in the 6,000m race to earn All-Region honors. They are both likely individual qualifiers to next week's NCAA National meet.

The women ran a strong race to finish 7th place overall, tied for the second highest finish in program history. Their score of 252 points was shy of UW-River Falls' 208 points but ahead of St. Norbert's 271 points. UW-Eau Claire took the title with 59 points and Washington University was second with 75 points. The top-2 teams in each of the eight regions received an automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA National meet. In addition to the 16 automatic qualifiers, there will be 16 at-large qualifiers that will be announced on Sunday at 3pm. UW-Platteville's finish gives them an outside chance of qualifying as a team.

The cool, dry and calm day led to some incredibly fast times. Meister finished 2-seconds behind the school record with a time of 21:20 while Wardinski finished in 21:26. Janelle Ferguson was the Pioneers' third runner finishing 54th with a time of 22:19. Camille Felton finished 80th in 22:53 and Caitlyn Ifft was 94th in 23:04. Rounding out the top-7 were Mariah Brown (107th, 23:20) and Kaitlyn Galgon (115th, 23:30).

Lee crossed the finish in 23:43 for the men, the second fastest time in school history. Rynes finished close behind in 23:49.  Logan Steinhoff was the Pioneers' third runner in 69th place with a time of 25:11. Nolan Wallenkamp finished 81st in 25:26 and Ben Rhode was 104th in 25:46. Cole Shurbert-Hetzel (109th/25:50) and Kyle Herbrand (153rd/26:45) rounded out the top-7.

The men finished 8th overall with a point total of 262 points. The Pioneers were edged out by UW-Stevens Point's 260 points and finished ahead of UW-Whitewater's 288 points. North Central took the team title with 34 points and Wis.-La Crosse took second with 81 points.