Williams returns to NCAA Championships
Courtesy of Edgewood College
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. -- Edgewood College junior Josh Williams thought he would need to significantly lower his Northern Athletics Conference winning time if he wanted to make a return to the NCAA Division III National Championships. After Saturday's run at the NCAA Midwest Regional, Williams can once again call himself a national qualifier. Williams achieved the highest ever finish by an Eagle runner in a regional, placing 12th overall and leading Edgewood to a 20th place finish.
Williams ran a time of 25:18 which was nearly a full minute faster than his winning time at the NAC Championship two weeks ago. In 2009, Williams finished 24th at the regional, but had to wait until team qualifiers were selected on Sunday to see if we made the field. There would be no wait for Williams this time, as he was the fourth highest finisher not on a qualifying team. The top seven individuals advance to the NCAA National Championships.
After Williams, two other Eagles finished in the 100 in the race which featured 277 starters. Grant Mickesh completed his first year of cross country by finishing 82nd in a time of 26:39.5. Mickesh's time was nearly identical to his Northern Athletics Conference Championship time. Senior Connor Boushon completed his cross country career by placing 92nd in 26:50.0.
Peter Zander and Evan Boushon completed the Eagles' top five scoring runners. Zander finished in 28:29.2, while Evan Boushon covered the 8,000 meter course in 29:45.1. Freshmen Tim Abendroth and Anthony Gomez rounded the Eagles team, with both runners coming in under 32 minutes.
The NCAA Division III National Championships will take place next Saturday at Lake Breeze Golf Course in Winneconne, Wis. Williams is very familiar with the course having already raced it once this season and three times in his career. In fact, Williams set his personal best time of 25:05 on the Lake Breeze course in the 2009 NCAA Midwest Regional, which made him the first Edgewood runner to ever qualify for nationals.