Cross country teams battle tough course
The UW-Eau Claire men’s and women’s cross country teams had to overcome more than just their opponents this weekend.
At the Old English Invite at Beloit College, runners had to navigate a wilderness track, which lead them over logs and hay barrels as well as through a creek. Despite the unique course and unseasonably high temperatures, the women’s team was able to finish second out of eight teams behind only Beloit College, while the men finished fourth out of seven teams, with the Wisconsin Track Club finishing first.
Coach Dan Schwamberger said the conditions made for a unique test for both teams’ secondary runners, who competed in Saturday to rest their first team runners.
“(The course style) made it an extra challenge,” Schwamberger said.
On the women’s side, the top finisher for Eau Claire was freshman Monica Rolbiecki, who placed fourth overall. Sophomore Lauren Novak finished second among the Blugolds, finishing seventh place overall, followed by sophomore Kelly Palmer at eleventh overall.
Junior Julie Meis, who finished seventh among the Blugolds and 26 overall, said her teammates were especially supportive of one another during the race.
“(A teammate) would come up behind (another runner) and say, ‘Let’s get going,’” Meis said. She also said how it was good to see some of the younger runners get a chance to compete.
The men’s team top finisher was sophomore Max Renner, who placed eighth overall. Freshmen Stanton Jasicki and Charlie Daehler finished 13 and 18 overall, respectively.
Freshman Roger Schultz, who finished fifth among the Blugold men and 27 overall, said although individual times were down, the men were able to put on a good race. The secondary runners’ solid performances showed the team’s depth and promise for the rest of the season, he added.
“We’re a team with a lot of potential,” Schultz said. “We’ve got a good chance to place well at conference.”
The first team runners will compete in the UW-La Crosse Drews/Neubauer Invite on Oct. 13, Schwamberger said.
Schwamberger said he thought both the men’s and the women’s teams showed their tenacity during the run, fighting through the high temperatures and course obstacles. He added he wants his team to continue to show that kind of spirit for the remainder of the season.
“(This race) set us up well for next week,” he said. “Being mentally tough… that’s what we’re focusing on.”