The field of competitors for the 2018 NCAA Division III Championship Meet was announced on Sunday and Lake Forest College's Jorge Villanueva is one of 56 runners who will compete as individuals.
Villanueva finished 29th at Saturday's NCAA Division III Midwest Regional with an time of 25:27.8. It was easily the highest placing at the regional meet by a Lake Forest runner in program history and the senior now owns five of the eight fastest 8-kilometer times in team annals.
The NCAA Championship field of up to 280 runners is made up of 32 teams of seven runners each and 56 individuals who are not on those teams. The top two teams from each of the eight regional meets automatically qualify for the national meet and the other 16 teams are selected by a committee. Once those selections are made, the top seven individuals from each regional who are not members of qualifying teams are added to the field.
Villanueva will be the first Forester to compete in the NCAA Division III Championships since the program returned to varsity status in 1995. Lake Forest's only other appearances at a national cross country meet came in in the 1960s. The Foresters placed 39th in the College Division in 1966 and 46th in 1967, although those were open meets and did not require teams or individuals to qualify for participation. Bill Boyle posted the team's highest individual finish when he placed 34th in the 4-mile race in 1966.
The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh will host the 2018 NCAA Division III Championships at Lake Breeze Golf Course in Winneconne, Wisconsin, a course familiar to Villanueva. The Foresters have competed in five meets there during his career, including the UW-Oshkosh Kollege Town Sports Invitational on October 13, where Villanueva finished 51st out of 344 runners in 26:06.2.
The men's 8K race will begin Saturday, November 17 at 12:15 p.m.