XC teams both finish in top five

Story by Rita Fay, Staff Writer

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It was a difficult task for the Blugold cross country runners to keep warm in the windy and rainy Saturday. Unfortunately, a postponement kept them waiting in the cold at the UW-Oshkosh Brooks Invitational until the rain and lighting died off.

Senior Aaron Easker  said it did little to affect the outcome of the race.

“It was the first meet most of us have ever ran that’s been that bad but I don’t think it really had that big of an impact on us,” Easker said. “Most of the guys on our team had really good races, I think that showed that a lot of guys kept their heads on straight”.

The men’s cross country team took third place in a field of 38 with two Blugolds finishing in the top ten and four finishing in the top 25.

Senior Jeremy Kieser finished in third place with a final time just over 25 minutes, with Easker finishing in fourth place only four seconds behind him.

Junior Matt Wenaas finished in 25 minutes and 28 seconds giving him the 24th place and sophomore Adam Moline finished only two seconds later in 25th place.

The women’s team took third place out of 27 teams.

Ashlyn Mauer ran a final time of 21 minutes and 45 seconds which landed her in fourth place. While Madi Sawyer and Stephanie Sjostrom took 11th and 12th place respectively, with times just over 22 minutes.

Coach Dan Schwamberger said he was very pleased with the results especially since the Brooks Invitational is the most competitive aside from Nationals.

“I was pleased with both performances. I guess I say I’m cautiously optimistic, we have a lot of season left, a lot of things can change but we’re definitely at a good point.” Schwanberger said. “Both teams are gaining confidence with each week, which is really what we want to try to be doing right now since we’re getting into the bigger meets. As of right now we’re in a good spot and it will be fun to see how things progress these upcoming weeks.”

Schwamberger attributes the success of both teams to the high number of upperclassmen and their experience. The runners were prepared for the season and came in strong.

“The big thing with cross country is you’ve got to put the time in during the summer in order to be successful during the season and both teams did that. So definitely I think the race results at Brooks gave us a good indication that both teams have potential to be competitive on a national stage,” Schwamberger said.

Last season the women placed 17th at Nationals while the men ended their season at regionals, placing 11th.

Making it to Nationals is the goal for both teams and with more experienced runners keeping their stress under control; Schwamberger is focusing on little goals to get them there.

“There is still a lot of season left. The key for both teams will be number one, staying healthy and number two, just continually training smart in the upcoming weeks,” Schwamberger said.

Both teams have an upcoming meet on Oct. 19 at the Lake Wissota Invitational. The conference meet is in two weeks on Oct. 27 at UW-Platteville.