UW-Eau Claire cross-country takes second place overall at WIAC Championships

Men’s and women’s cross-country teams compete in La Crosse


Photo by Dan Schwamberger

The women’s team placed second out of eight teams competing at the WIAC championships

The men’s and women’s cross-country teams competed in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletics Conference championships held in La Crosse on Oct. 29. 

Both teams were running in ideal conditions, according to blugolds.com

The women’s team placed second out of eight teams, with their top runner Carolyn Shult, a fourth-year student, placing second overall. Her time was 21:47.6, earning her WIAC first-team placement. 

Katie Faris, a fifth-year special education student, placed eighth overall and got the second-highest time on the UW-Eau Claire women’s team. Her time of 22:43.8 earned her WIAC second-team placement, according to Blugold Athletics. 

According to Faris, “all of the little things this season, like working together and building each other up, have been great this season.” 

She attributed a significant amount of the team’s success to their ability to train hard and encourage each other. 

“I would say our strengths are communication, teamwork and positivity,” Faris said. “We are constantly trying to get better as a team which is awesome.”

According to Faris, she and a few other girls will be graduating after this year, and they are looking forward to ending their final season on a high note. 

Fourth-year students Ashley Kachurik and Naomi Long also placed in UW-Eau Claire’s top five. They earned WIAC second-team placement, as well, according to blugolds.com

The women’s team scored 50 points at the meet. 

The men’s team also competed on Saturday and placed fourth out of eight teams. Their top runner was Mason Shea, a third-year statistics and environmental science student, who finished  No. 17 with a time of 25:43.6. He earned a WIAC honorable mention. 

Sam Verkerke, a third-year student, placed 21st and the second-highest time for the UW-Eau Claire men’s team. His time was 25:53.8, according to blugolds.com

The rest of the top five consisted of Jesse Peterson placed at No. 22 with a time of 25.59.5, Tyler Osen at No. 23 with a time of 26:00.0 and Nic Burgdorf at No. 25 with a time of 26:01.1. 

Jesse Peterson, a second-year criminal justice student, said that this season has been really exciting on a personal and team scale. 

“We started off the season wanting to run as a pack,” Peterson said. “Usually the races are easier when we run them as a group. Now our focus is on running our individual races and coming together as a team when we need to.” 

The team was faced with a fall at the start of the race, but they managed to pull through and make a comeback by the end of the meet, according to Peterson.  

“We still managed to do pretty well and to be close to the teams we want to beat, even with that challenge getting in our way,” Peterson said. 

Peterson said the team’s main focus is on making it to nationals in two weeks. 

The Blugolds’ next meet will be at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4 the Luther Saga Cup in Decorah, Iowa. 

Allessi can be reached at [email protected]