Central’s Eli Horton capped a notable rookie campaign by turning in the top freshman finish at the NCAA Division III men’s cross country championships in Winneconne, Wis., Nov. 19.
Horton was 52nd in a career-best 24 minutes, 57.81 seconds in a 280-runner field on the 8,000-meter course.
That highlighted a promising season for the Dutch, who next year return their top six runners from a squad that posted a solid ninth-place finish at the NCAA Central Regional, their highest since 2006. Another freshman, Drew Jackson, narrowly missed joining Horton as an all-region honoree.
Meanwhile, junior Mel McDermott earned all-region distinction for the Central women with a 6,000-meter time of 23:23, a new personal best. The Dutch were 12th after placing 17th in the region a year ago. The women return six of their top seven runners for next season.