Foresters Match Best-Ever Finish at MWC Championship Meet

Foresters Match Best-Ever Finish at MWC Championship Meet

Senior Jonathan Stern ran the fastest 8K in team history and freshman Yaneli Guajardo was named Midwest Conference Newcomer of the Year as the Lake Forest College men's and women's cross country teams placed third and fifth, respectively, at Saturday's MWC Championship Meet.

Stern completed the course at The Links at Jacksonville Golf Course in just 25:39.5. He was the first runner in team history to finish an 8-kilometer race in less than 26 minutes and his seventh-place finish on Saturday is also the best in program history at the conference meet. Junior Jorge Villanueva, who owned the fastest time in team history going into the meet, was just two places behind Stern with a career-best time of 25:50.6. Sophomore Philip Wilson placed 13th overall to join Stern and Villanueva as All-MWC honorees and his time of 26:07.3 ranks fifth in team annals. Junior Christian Aldana was fourth on the team and 23rd in the 113-runner field in 26:44.0 and, with a time of 26:45.8, classmate Sam Barton was the next runner to cross the line.

Cornell College won the men's team competition with just 35 points. Grinnell College was the runner-up with 66, just 10 fewer than the Foresters. Lawrence University was a distant fourth at 131.

Guajardo finished 12th out of 123 competitors in the women's 6-kilometer race and her time of 23:07.8 ranks seventh in team history. She was the first freshman to complete the course and was named MWC Newcomer of the Year after the meet. Senior Cassie Lira was the next Forester to finish and her 19th-place time of 23:18.2 is the program's 11th-best mark. She also became the program's first three-time All-MWC honoree in more than a decade. The next three runners on the team were separated by less than 20 seconds. Sophomore Ariane Balaram placed 34th with a time of 23:51.5, junior Emily Staufer was 39th in 24:06.5, and sophomore Ashley Canner finished 41st in 24:08.4.

The St. Norbert College women defended their conference title with 37 points and Grinnell College earned its second runner-up finish of the day at 63. Monmouth College was third with 72 points and Cornell College fourth with 104. Lake Forest and Lawrence each finished with 130 points and the Foresters won the tiebreaker for fifth place.

The third-place finish for the Forester men matched the best in team history while the women were just one place off their record performance from last season and 10 years earlier. The teams' combined finish matched the program record from 2014 and 2015.

Select members of the men's and women's team will compete in the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional Championships on November 11.