Cross country off to running start

Story by Sam Rosenberry

The cross country teams got off to good starts in Decorah, Iowa on Saturday. The men placed fourth and the women took third in the Luther All-American Invite.

Head Coach Dan Schwamberger didn’t race his top runners from the alumni race on Sept. 4th, so this race was all about getting the younger athletes more experience.

“A lot of times when we run our whole team, a lot of times some of those younger runners get lost in the shuffle.”

Schwamberger said the race was also shorter than what the remainder of the races will be.

This gives the underclassmen a chance to run a race that’s closer to the length of high school races, so they can get ready for the collegiate length, he said.

Schwamberger said he was happy with both teams performances overall.


The men ran at an average time of 21:11, which was 13 seconds behind the average of the first place team UW-La Crosse, and nine seconds behind second place Hamline.

Schwamberger said they did much better this year compared to last year.

“I was really excited with the Men’s team,” he said. “Last year we were seven of eight.”

Junior Michael Borden was pleased with how he ran and finished 23rd at 21:15.

“I felt I ran a pretty smart race,” he said. “The last mile I gave everything I had.”

Borden was the fourth UW-Eau Claire racer to finish. The first racer to cross the line for the team was Michael Unruh who finished in 21:02.

The four-miles long race was on an interesting course featuring a couple large hills Borden said.

“It was definitely a fun course,” he said. “Challenging, but a pretty fair course. It was one of the better ones we’ll run all year.”

Though Scwhamberger was happy with the team, he does feel that there is work to be done.

“I think (we need to work on) race strategy,” he said. “We had a few people that got out too hard; a little too aggressive.”


The women ran at an average pace of 19:54 to grab fourth place. The winner of the invitational was the home team, Luther, who averaged 19:31 on the 5k course.

“It was a solid day,” Scwhamberger said. “I was really pleased with the way the women raced.”

UW-La Crosse and Gustavus Adolphus (Minn.) also finished ahead of Eau Claire at second and third respectively.

Schwamberger said that all three teams who finished ahead of the women ran their full times, which gave them an advantage.

Junoir Kacey Rindy lead Eau Claire runners and finished at 19:40.

“I was pretty pleased with my race,” she said. ” I went out kind of conservative and I was able to maintain the pace.”

She added that she didn’t do as well as she could have, but for the first race it was a good performance.

If she wants to do a better job, Rindy said she will have to work on some things.

“I think if I want to make improvements, I definitely need to work on the last part of my race and finishing strong.”

Cross Country doesn’t race again until Sept. 24th and 25th. The top 12 runners for each team will race at the Roy Griak Invitational in St. Paul Schwamberger said.

The rest of the team will race in Winona, Minn. on the 24th.

Schwamberger said that there are improvements to be made, but also stressed the importance of this meet.

“It was a good building block into the next couple of meets that we’ll have.”