Led by a trio of all-conference performers, The College of Wooster men's cross country team placed fourth at the 2017 North Coast Athletic Conference Championships, while the Fighting Scots' women's team finished seventh on Saturday morning at Oberlin College's North Fields in Oberlin, Ohio.
Wooster's men's finish marked the best at the conference meet since the Scots captured third in 2013, and that's also when the Black and Gold last earned a trio of all-conference certificates.
Jackson Feinknopf led Wooster's trio of honorable mention all-conference performers with a career-best 8,000 meters time of 26:09.1, and that was good for a 15th-place finish in the 100-competitor field.
In fact, all three of the all-conference honorees were juniors as David Westcott, who missed the entire 2016 cross country season, delivered a memorable bounce-back league championship with a time of 26:22.9, good for 18th-place. Brian Lief rounded out Wooster's all-conference performers with a 20th-place showing at 26:26.2
Notable, all five of the Scots' scorers placed in the top 35 as senior Geoffrey Carney-Knisely (26:43.8) and sophomore Aedan Pettit (26:44.5) crossed 32nd and 33rd respectively, and their times gave the Scots a :35.4 spread among the scoring harriers, the best among the nine participating teams by over :40.
Equally as impressive, the Scots actually had six runners turn in sub-27:00 times as first-year Matt Klonowski reached the finish in 26:57.4. Sophomore Miki Rae's 28:05.03 placed him seventh among Scot entrants.
On the women's side, first-year Zoe Covey rose to the occasion at her first league meet with a career-best 6,000 meters time of 23:51.3, nearly :40 better than the 24:29.6 she clocked at the All-Ohio Championships, the Scots' other championship-meet length outing of the year thus far. Covey's time was good for a 36th-place finish.
DePauw University won the men's conference championship with 40 points, 19 lower than runner-up Allegheny College. Wabash College (79 points) placed third, while Wooster's 118 points were three better than fifth-place Ohio Wesleyan University.
On the women's side, Allegheny led the way with 31 points while host Oberlin (37 points) and Kenyon College (71 points) rounded out the top three.
Next, Wooster hosts its annual 5K Twilight Challenge on Friday, Nov. 3 at John P. Papp Stadium. Action is slated to start at 7 p.m.