UW-Eau Claire cross-country teams take third in Blugold invitational

Men and women’s cross-country teams host invitational Friday, Sept. 30th at Whitetail Golf Course.

Charlotte Becker

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Photo by Dan Schwamberg

The UW-Eau Claire women’s cross-country team placed third out of twenty-eight teams.

The UW-Eau Claire men and women’s cross-country teams hosted an invitational on Friday, Sept. 30th at the Whitetail Golf Course. This meet was the second one for the Blugold cross-country teams.  

The weather and course conditions were good for the meet according to fourth-year special education and elementary education student and team captain Naomi Long.

It was a nice sunny, cool breeze day, high 60s. The race (was) on Whitetail Colfax Golf Course,” Long said. “It’s a great course with rolling hills and a great race for spectators to watch, as they can see the runners competing at multiple spots through the race.” 

The UW-Eau Claire women’s cross-country team placed third out of twenty-eight teams. 

The Blugolds had three runners that completed the race in the top twenty finishers. 

Carolyn Shult placed second with a time of 22:25.5, Naomi Long placed 13th with a time of 22:50.5 and Ashley Kachurik completed the race as the 20th finisher with a time of 22:58.6. 

The UW-Eau Claire women’s team finished the 6K race with 78 points total, placing third overall. St. Olaf took first place totaling 40 points and Carleton finished second with 64 points.  

First-year biology major student Keely Behr said that she was proud of the team and their hard work.

“I think as a whole, this meet started to show that our training is paying off,” Behr said. “We’re still really early on in the season, but people are already progressing and running new personal bests.”

Third-year statistics student Mason Shea was the first of the UW-Eau Claire men’s team to complete the race. Shea earned 16th place out of 407 runners. Sam Verkerke placed twenty-first, finishing with the time 25:35.4. 

The first five runners to complete the 8K for the men were all in the top 50 finishers.

In total, the UW-Eau Claire men’s cross-country team finished off the meet accumulating 124 points. This put the Blugolds in third place. 

There were 25 teams competing in the men’s 8k race. St. Olaf’s team came in first place and UW-Stout in second. 

According to Long, she is optimistic about the women’s and men’s teams’ future races.

“This meet was another race to see what our team is capable of on both the men’ and women’s side,” Long said. “It’s great to see the potential we have with both women’s and men’s and we will only be progressing from here on out.”

First-year student Ava Matejcek said she was excited to compete in her first Blugold Invite and was happy with how everyone competed. 

“At this meet, I feel like we all worked together really well during the race and we all motivated and pushed each other a lot,” Matajcek said. “I am proud of the team for getting after it and competing. We all tried our best and placed well.” 

Visit the 2022 men’s and women’s cross-country schedules to find out when the next meets will take place. 

Becker can be reached at [email protected]