Edgewood College's Williams makes history
By Bryan Watson, Madison.com
The wait was well worth it for Josh Williams.
After shattering his own school record in the 8,000 meters Saturday at the NCAA Midwest Regional at Lake Breeze Golf Course in Winneconne, the Edgewood College freshman had to wait until Sunday to learn if his 24th-place finish was good enough to garner a berth into the NCAA Division III men's cross country championships.
Turns out it was.
By finishing in a time of 25 minutes, 5 seconds, Williams, a former Madison West athlete, became the first runner in Edgewood College history to qualify for the NCAA Championships and just the fourth in Northern Athletics Conference history to do it.
Williams, who was the seventh and final qualifier from the Midwest Region, will race for a national championship Saturday in Highland Hills, Ohio.
Williams' bid was boosted by the fact that Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schools UW-Platteville and UW-Eau Claire earned at-large berths, meaning Williams became the seventh highest finisher who was not already on a qualified team. UW-La Crosse earned the league's automatic berth on the men's side.
Platteville, making its sixth NCAA appearance, is led by former Monroe athlete Patrick Klein and former McFarland athlete Shane Lacy.
Eau Claire, La Crosse -- which was bolstered by an 11th-place finish by former Madison West athlete Katelynn Williams at the Midwest Regional -- and UW-Oshkosh earned berths on the women's side.