Two Blugolds achieve All-American status at cross country national tournament

Carolyn Shult finished in fifth place, Shea finished 39th
Shult finished her season in fifth place nationally. ( Photo by Dan Schwamberger, used with permission from Blugold Athletics)
Shult finished her season in fifth place nationally. ( Photo by Dan Schwamberger, used with permission from Blugold Athletics)

The UW-Eau Claire women’s cross country team made school history on Saturday during their run at the Division III National Championships in Pennsylvania. 

Carolyn Shult, a fifth-year runner, finished in fifth place with a time of 21:04.3, the first woman in Blugold history to finish in the top five. 

“I hadn’t really thought about it in the moment,” Shult said. “But it was really cool to hear that I’d accomplished that.”

Shult finished with All-American honors and was the highest-placing WIAC women’s runner. 

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As a team, the Blugolds finished in 15th place out of 32 total teams, scoring 387 team points during the meet. 

The second-highest finisher for UW-Eau Claire was Ava Matejcek, finishing in 72nd place with a time of 22:15.0. 

Morgan Dahl finished 130th at 22:44.7, Keeley Behr had a time of 22:46.3 coming in at 135th and Mikayla Hady finished at 201st with a time of 23:07.4.

Rounding out the team scores was Christi Forman clocking in at 23:14.5 to earn 219th place while Kirsten Ranke ended with a time of 23:23.3 to finish in 233rd place. 

“A lot of us are seniors, so having a lot of us together at the finish line was really special,” Shult said. “It was a really great experience and having my team running there with me made it even better.”

The UW-Eau Claire men’s cross country team also had an individual compete at the national meet. 

Mason Shea, fourth-year student, finished in 39th place with a time of 25:09.5, capping off his stellar senior season. 

Shea said he met his initial goals and is proud of his performance. 

“I didn’t really have a goal for my finishing time heading in,” Shea said. “At that level, I’m just trying to finish as high as I can. My goal was to get in the top 40 and thankfully I reached that.”

By finishing in the top 40, he also claimed All-American status, becoming the first Blugolds male to become an All-American since 2019. 

This wasn’t his first time competing at the national meet as he’s competed there the previous two years, moving up 69 spots from last year’s finish. 

He said that while he’s proud of his individual finish, he also enjoyed being with his team throughout the season. 

“The goal is to enjoy competing and having fun which I put a lot more focus on this year,” Shea said. “This season has been memorable because of how much I’ve enjoyed this team.”

The meet finished off the cross country season for the Blugolds. 

While the women’s team finished at the national meet, the men’s team finished at the regional meet, finishing ninth out of 34 teams. 

Shea said he’s proud of both teams and how far they were able to get. 

“(The girl’s team) also had an amazing season which we’re very proud of,” he said. “Hopefully as they continue to grow, the guys’ team can emulate their success.”

Next up for the Blugolds will be the indoor track season, starting off at home on Jan. 13 with the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Open. 


Hokanson can be reached at [email protected]

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