Athlete and Coaching Staff of the Year Award for cross country team

The women’s cross country team received multiple awards this season including becoming WIAC champions

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The UW-Eau Claire women’s cross country team were WIAC champions with Lexie Tremble as Athlete of the Year.

The UW-Eau Claire cross country team received their third consecutive Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title this season.

Lexie Tremble, a fourth-year runner on the team, earned Athlete of the Year, and the coaches earned Coaching Staff of the Year honors.

Throughout the WIAC tournament, Tremble assisted the Blugolds and was named the overall WIAC champion with a time of 23:15.8. Tremble said her performance came after many hours of training in both the summer and throughout the season.

“I had my best summer of training last summer just because I was coming into my last season, and I wanted to give it all I could,” Tremble said. “Overall, I just wanted to be a good leader for my team and be able to get my team to the Regionals or Nationals meet more than doing it for myself.”

After the WIAC championship, UW-Eau Claire placed fourth at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional while also receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Championship where the Blugolds finished in 17th place.

Lizzie Cisewski, a third-year runner on the cross country team, said she was excited by the team’s performance this season.

“As a women’s team, we were very excited about our performance at the WIAC conference meet,” Cisewski said. “As for regionals, our main goal was to qualify for nationals, which is exactly what we did. Regionals was a tough meet, but we all stuck to our race plan pretty well, which helped us achieve our goal.”

Not only was the team successful as a whole, but Tremble was the second Blugold to receive Athlete of the Year honors.

Tremble said the award was not something she was necessarily aware of throughout the season, but her teammates were her main motivators when it came to performing well.

“If they weren’t around, I would not be the person I am today,” Tremble said. “I would not have been as successful as I was this past season. My teammates are amazing. I feel like I almost ran each race for them. We’re a really close-knit team and we’re always wanting to be the best for each other.”

The Blugolds also received Coaching Staff of the Year honors to acknowledge the coaching staff’s success this season.

The staff includes head coach Dan Schwamberger; assistant coaches Chip Schneider and Marcie Schwamberger; volunteer assistant coach Morgan Marek; and volunteer student coaches Jake Kennedy, Emma Reed and Pernille Soderlind.

Cisewski said the coaching staff was a big factor when it came to excelling.

“So much of our success comes from our coaches,” Cisewski said. “They are amazing individuals that put so much time and energy into making us better runners   — from our assistant coaches, who run practices and do workouts with us to support us — to our head coach who is there for us 24/7, no matter what we need.”

Throughout her four seasons with the Blugolds, Tremble said something her coach taught her that she resonated with is to live in the moment instead of focusing on the end result.

“One thing I took away from my coach in training was don’t get caught up in the outcome, get lost in the journey,” Tremble said. “That’s something that I’m going to take with me for the rest of my life.”

Zenner can be reached at [email protected]