Blugolds take second in St. Olaf meet

Head coach says Blugold Cross Country uses teamwork to improve times in early season meet
Courtesy: Dan Schwamberger
Courtesy: Dan Schwamberger
Photo by Dan Schwamberger

Saturday morning saw the men’s and women’s Blugold Cross Country teams race at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.

Dan Schwamberger, head coach for the men’s and women’s Cross Country teams, said Saturday’s performance highlighted both programs.

“It was a smaller meet, but it was the right amount of competition for being our first meet against outside competition this year,” Schwamberger said.

The women’s race saw a first place finish from third-year Carolyn Shult with a 6K time of 22:22.2. 

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“She’s had a very good summer of training and a good spring in track so it’s just exciting to see where she’s at,” Schwamberger said. “I think this is a good confidence builder heading into the upcoming races.” 

The women finished second behind St. Olaf in points, with the Oles totaling 25, ahead of the Blugold score of 31.

The Blugold men’s team also trailed St. Olaf in points with a score of 63 to the Oles 25, according to Track and Field Results Reporting System

The men’s race saw tough competition from Milwaukee School of Engineering and Concordia University, St. Paul, both with runners trailing UW-Eau Claire’s top finisher, Mason Shea, in fourth place with an 8K time of 25.31.5.

When asked about the second place finish, Schwamberger said, “We really don’t talk about winning a whole lot. We just try to focus on what we can control. We can’t control other teams.” 

According to Schwamberger, a big part of the strategy this week was teamwork. 

“Our plan for both the women and men today was to run patient, in-control the first the third of the race, then the middle: try to work with teammates,” Schwamberger said. 

He highlighted second-year Ava Matejcek’s work with third-year Morgan Dahl, with times of 23:07.1 and 23:08.2, respectively.

“That was really fun to watch the teamwork,” Schwamberger said. “They were smart. They closed really well the last half of the race.” 

On the men’s side, he said second-year Ian Barnes finished with a time of 26:17.6 and Cooper Feltz finished behind him at 26:18.1, which contrasted their performance with the St. Olaf Invitational last year where Feltz finished 28:02 and Barnes finished 28:22 in the 8K. 

“It’s kind of fun to see that progression and the hard work they put in in the off season showing already,” Schwamberger said.

Mason Shea, the top Blugold runner, also practiced teamwork on Saturday, pacing with teammates Jesse Peterson and Trevor LaMirande for the first five kilometers, before closing in for the fourth place finish.

The next meet is scheduled for Sep. 29 at Whitetail Golf Course in Colfax, Wisconsin. Schwamberger said he plans to focus on training in the time off. 

“We’ll have a solid workout on Tuesday and one of the team’s favorite workouts on Friday: a hill workout south of town,” he said. 

The 32-team invitational will take place on the same course as the NCAA Division III North Regional Meet in November.  

“It should be a really good competition and it’s a really good course,” Schwamberger said. “It’ll be nice to get out there and get a preview of course.”

Kleinhans can be reached at [email protected]

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