The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Cross country targets Point

    The men’s cross country will compete at the Oshkosh Invitational on Saturday at the Lake Breeze Golf Course in Winneconne.

    “It’s going to be tough,” said sophomore Jeff Burkart. “We’re focusing on (Stevens) Point. We have to get our pack in front of their third runner. He’s kind of weaker. To get to nationals we have to beat Point. That’s what it’s going to come down to.”

    Stevens Point is ranked 11th nationally. This meeting will be a preview of the upcoming WIAC Conference meet for Eau Claire.

    “We’re targeting (Stevens) Point,” said coach Scott Steuernagel. “In my four years (coaching this program) we haven’t beaten them. If we beat them I believe we’ll be second in the meet.”

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    Also competing will be home team UW-Oshkosh who finished third nationally last year.

    “They’re better this year,” said Steuernagel.

    Elmhurst College (Ill), Hope (Mich), and Carthage College will also be represented at the meet.

    Numerous Blugold runners will be out of the competition as a result of sickness or injury.

    Sophomore Sean Gavigan broke a bone in his foot and sophomore Matt Glover had pneumonia this summer. Junior Chad McCartney is having knee problems. Junior Mark Meunier injured an ankle.

    “He’s (Gavigan) running in practice,” said Steuernagel. “He doesn’t feel he’s ready to compete yet.”

    Last Saturday, the Blugolds competed in the Lester Park Invitational at the Lester Park Golf Course in Duluth, Minn. They tied Minnesota-Duluth for first place in the 10 team meet.

    “We wanted to win,” said Burkart. “It was good for our confidence. We were feeling things out. We were running conservatively. We ran our race. We did what we had to do. We got our pack ahead of Duluth’s third runner.”

    Senior James Larson finished second in a time of 26:46.0. Junior Nick Hardt finished sixth in 27:36, Burkart 10th in 28:00.6, and junior Matt Goertz finished 13th in 28:07.4.

    “The effort was there,” Steuernagel said. “The desire was there. We’re motivated to go to nationals. We had a strong showing from the people we thought would be strong.”

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