Women’s cross country wins first two

Story by Ben Rueter

The Blugold cross country teams started the season off strong with two first place finishes by the women at the Roy Griak Invitational and the St. Mary’s Invitational and the men placed third at St. Mary’s.

Coach Dan Schwamberger said both teams did very well for their first race of the season and he is especially thrilled to see where the young members of the team go
this year.

“I think this is one of the strongest freshmen and sophomore classes that we’ve had since I got here,” Schwamberger said. “So it makes me really excited about this season and
future seasons.”

For the veteran racers on the team Schwamberger said that he can tell that they’ve been working hard all summer and it shows with their finishing times.


At Roy Griak Invitational the women ran at an average time of 23:15 giving them a first place finish ahead of 31 other teams.

At the Roy Griak invite, one of the standout runners included junior Ashlyn Mauer who finished in the top ten with a
time of 23:05.

“I know there’s more left in me, but for my first meet I was happy with it,” Mauer said.

The women also continued their domination with another first place win at St. Mary’s Invite with four runners finishing in the top five.

“We really worked together and for everybody’s first meet everybody was really race smart,” senior Alyssa Sybilrud said who finished second overall.


The men’s team placed high up at third place in the St. Mary’s Invitational out the eight teams competing.

Schwamberger said that he is satisfied with the final times, especially since two of their top runners were unhealthy to race at
the start.

“For losing two of our top five … I was pleased with how we came out,” Schwamberger said. One player was out due to mono and the other suffered from a bicycle accident. Schwamberger wanted to make sure both are healthy enough to run at the top of their game later in the season.

The men raced their best last weekend at St. Mary’s with sophomore Joe Martschinke tying for 10th place and junior Phillip Schommer ending up as the next fastest Blugold in 13th place.

“I was really happy with my race,” sophomore Jeffery Quednow said who finished in 18th. “I think I was a little bit patient but for the first race of the year I was happy with it.”

Aaron Easker at the Roy Griak Invite almost broke into the top 10 finishing in 11th place.

“It was a tough course, but we have a strong top five (runners) that we are looking to improve from there, so we are excited for the rest of the season,” Easker said.

He added that the courses were tough for a season opener, but felt that it was good training for the younger runners on the team.

Schwamberger said that he wants to make it a point for both teams to do really well early on in the season and focus now on getting stronger so that the teams can compete at their best in November during the championship.

This weekend the Blugold’s race at home on the Whitetail Gold Course. Women’s at 4 p.m. and Men’s at 5 p.m.