Cornell Rams, senior Mason Wicker of Baldwin, WI, established himself as one of the program's all-time best. Wicker became Cornell's sixth male runner to achieve all-America status in cross country. Submitted photo
Cornell Rams, senior Mason Wicker of Baldwin, WI, established himself as one of the program's all-time best. Wicker became Cornell's sixth male runner to achieve all-America status in cross country. Submitted photo

By Cornell College Athletics, Men’s Cross Country

WINNECONNE, WI – In two short seasons running cross country for the Cornell Rams, senior Mason Wicker (SR/Baldwin, Wisconsin) established himself as one of the program's all-time best.

Wicker went out an all-American in his final race Saturday, placing 36th at the NCAA Division III Men's Cross-Country Championships at Lake Breeze Golf Club. This was in a field of 280 competitive runners.

Wicker hovered around the top-40 all-America cutoff the entire 8-kilometer race. And with a strong finish, he crossed safely inside with a mark of 24:56.8 on a 30-degree afternoon in Wisconsin. He had a 5:01.2 mile average time in that 8k distance.

Wicker became Cornell's sixth male runner to achieve all-America status in cross country, the first since 2009 (Andrew Tobben). Wicker improved 83 places from last year's NCAA Championships.  

Senior teammates Cuyler Gabriel (SR/Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Austin Bach (SR/Larkspur, Colo.) closed the book on their outstanding cross-country careers, making huge gains as second-time NCAA competitors. Gabriel finished 96th out of 280 individuals with a mark of 25:34. Bach placed 137th in 25:47.

Gabriel bettered his 2017 NCAA finish by 156 places, Bach by 91.  

Wicker shaved 44 seconds off the 8K time he recorded on the same course just a month ago. Cornell's lead runner all fall, Wicker was in 35th place at the 3K mark and dropped to 47th with 2.4 kilometers remaining.

Wicker's kick down the stretch was enough to collect his second career all-America award, to go with a fifth-place showing in the outdoor 5000-meter run in track & field last spring.

Tony Every (1990-91) and Jeff Maples (1988) are Cornell's only other male athletes ever to gain all-America honors in both cross country and track & field.     

North Central's Dhruvil Patel captured the individual championship in 24:24. He also led North Central to the team title, outdistancing Wash U. by a wide 43-110 margin.

Wicker, Gabriel and Bach helped guide Coach Dan Schofer's Rams to their second consecutive Midwest Conference team championship, a sixth-place regional showing and the program's first-ever NCAA ranking. Cornell came up just short of an NCAA team berth last weekend.

With Wicker's performance Saturday, Cornell's cross-country programs (men and women) have now claimed five all-Americans since 2014.