Cross Country Sets Personal Bests at the Midwest Regional

Tracy Wang
Tracy Wang

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - The Rockford University men's and women's cross country teams concluded their seasons on Saturday at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional. The Midwest Regional is typically one of the largest and toughest meets of the season and this year was no exception. The men's 8k race featured 254 total participants, while the women's 6k race had 263 total runners. As a team, the RU men finished in 35th place, while the RU women did not record a team score. Individually though it was an excellent showing for Rockford as every runner either set a new personal or season best. 

Junior Joe Werkheiser (Winnebago, Ill.) led the way with perhaps his best ever performance as a Regent. Werkheiser set a new personal best by over a minute in the 8k race when he crossed the finish line in 26:43.8. He was also had the highest finish of any Regent on Saturday placing 151st. 

Bailey Beard (Rockford, Ill.) and Cristan Newton (Shreveport, La.) both also set personal bests on Saturday. Beard demolished his previous personal best time by over 2 minutes as he finished the race in 28:08.7 to place 204th. Newton took 225th place and set a new personal best with a time of 28:52.5. 

Nick Noel (Belvidere, Ill.) and Colton Ooyen (Winnebago, Ill.) were the final two RU men to compete at the Midwest Regional. Noel finished 244th with a season best time of 30:47.7, while Ooeyn placed 248th with a personal best time of 31:59.0.

The RU women's team was led by the trio of Allyssa Hobbs (Sterling, Ill.), Elina Lynge Wagner (Hvidovre, Denmark) and Tracy Wang (Lianyungang, China). Hobbs and Wagner were neck and neck the entire race as the two finished less than 1 second apart. Hobbs finished in 241st place with personal best time of 28:28.9, while Wagner finished 242nd with a personal best time of 28:29.5. Wang also set a new personal best in the 6k completing the race in 30:29.9 to finish 255th.