WEST ALLIS, Wis. (naccsports.org) --- Milwaukee School of Engineering placed six runners in the top 15 to run away with the 2019 Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) men's cross country crown Saturday at Greenfield Park.
MSOE totaled 38 points, nearly half the total of 75 posted by runner-up Aurora University. Defending champion Benedictine University was third with 98 points, followed by Illinois Institute of Technology with 125 points and Edgewood College with 141 points. Concordia University Wisconsin (158), Wisconsin Lutheran College (171), Concordia University Chicago (174), Lakeland University (200), and Dominican University (253) round out the team scoring. Additionally, Rockford University fielded an incomplete team. The title is the third NACC title in program history for MSOE (2007, 2014).
The Raiders were led by senior Blake Bostwick, who held off Concordia Chicago's Thomas McNamara down the final stretch for the individual crown. Bostwick, McNamara and defending individual champion Marcos Garcia of Benedictine controlled the pace of the race throughout with Bostwick and McNamara pulling away over the final kilometer. Bostwick stopped the clock in 27:34.66, edging McNamara by just under one second (27:35.62).
Garcia came across third, followed by Wisconsin Lutheran's Chris Krahn (27:56.76) in fourth and Aurora's Brandon Estrada (28:00.82) in fifth.
Also recording top-15 finishes and earning all-NACC honors were MSOE's Jesse Lambrecht (sixth, 28:04.17), Nolan Kozinski (ninth, 28:20.01), Nick Bath (10th, 28:28.92), William Demerath (12th, 28:40.57) and Noah Vaculik (28:41.23), Aurora's Jose Alvarado (seventh, 28:08.91) and Nick Valle (11th, 28:36.98), Benedictine's Ellison Smith (eighth, 28:18.70), Edgewood's Henry Hansen (14th, 28:41.39) and Illinois Tech's Julian Go (15th, 28:55.66).
As the individual champion at the league's annual meet, Bostwick also took home NACC Men's Cross Country Runner of the Year honors. He joins Austin Wright (2015) as the only Raiders to claim the NACC men's cross country individual title. Hansen was the top true-freshman finisher and was named NACC Men's Cross Country Freshman of the Year and is the fourth Eagle to be recognized as the league's top rookie.
MSOE head men's coach Bill Massoels was honored by his peers as NACC Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season. The honor is the fourth overall for a MSOE men's coach. Former coach Larry Gardner was honored in both 2007 and 2014.
The majority of NACC programs will take next weekend off before competing at the NCAA Division III Midwest Region Championship slated for Saturday, Nov. 16 at Lake Breeze Golf Course in Winneconne, Wisconsin. The 2019 NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships will be held the following Saturday (Nov. 23) at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Kentucky.