The College of Wooster and Denison University cross country teams split a Thursday afternoon dual meet for the second year in a row, with this year's results flip-flopped from 2016 as the Fighting Scots' men emerged victorious 24-35 while the Big Red women featured four of the top five placers en route to a 19-41 decision.
At last year's North Coast Athletic Conference Championships, Wooster's top five harriers came in within :46 of each other, and on Thursday, the Scots indicated the potential to do that again at this year's league meet set to take place in just over three weeks. Wooster's five scorers had a sub-:47 spread with junior Brian Lief leading the charge as the meet's runner-up thanks to a 14:00.9 on the 4,000-meter course.
Wooster showcased its full array of depth on the men's side as first-year Matt Klonowski and sophomore Aedan Pettit both crossed in under 15 minutes, and gave the Scots seven of the top 10 finishers in the men's race.
In the women's 4,000-meter race, senior Mackenzie Kellar captured third-place with a time of 17:19.0, just over eight seconds behind Denison's Tommy Solberg's winning time of 17:10.9.
First-years Zoe Covey and Emma Busch logged top-10 showings for the Scots in support of Kellar's team-best showing. Covey's 17:41.5 ranked as the sixth-fastest time in the field, while Busch wasn't very far behind at 17:59.7.
Similar to the men, Wooster's top five women were tightly grouped together as the Scots logged a :48.6 spread at the meet. Senior Ashley Ferguson (18:04.9) and sophomore Cobi Warstler (18:07.6) rounded out the scorers with 11th- and 12th-place finishes, while first-year Reaghan Beaver (18:58.4) and junior Rebecca Kreuzman (19:34.8) earned spots among Wooster's top seven.
Wooster's back in action at next Friday's (Oct. 13) Jenna Strong Fall Classic, and that meet will serve as the Scots' final tune-up for the NCAC Championships, contested on Oct. 28 at Oberlin College.