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

    Women win at the WIAC Championship


    It was another year for the women’s team, and the same result – a conference championship. For the fourth straight year they are the best in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

    The men’s team didn’t fare as well though. They managed sixth place out of eight teams in Saturday’s meet at Whitetail Golf Course in Colfax.

    The Blugolds edged-out UW-Stevens Point by 2 points, 43 to 45, to win the meet. The team averaged 22:56 which was two seconds slower than Stevens Point, but in this sport, it’s the total places that matter.

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    “In cross, that’s a difference of one of our runners being one spot in front of (Stevens) Point,” Head coach Dan Schwamberger said. “A two-point margin is really close.”

    Senior Margaret Ho said it was the closest race she has been involved with. She also thought they ran a good team race.

    “Our team strategy was just to start out strong with patience and work together through-out the race.” Ho said.

    The rest of the field was much more spread out than the Blugolds and Stevens Point. In third was UW-Oshkosh who was 16 points behind the Pointers and 42 spots ahead of UW-La Crosse.

    Junior Alyssa Sybilrud was the fastest finishing Blugold. She finished in 22:41, which put here in fourth place. The individual winner was sophomore Christina Cazzola from UW-Oshkosh who was 25 seconds faster than Sybilrud.

    Ho took eighth overall and was the third fastest on the team. She thought she did an overall good job in the race, but she thought she could have raced better.

    “I wasn’t completely happy with my time, but I think place counts more than time in these kinds of races,” she said. “I was happy where I placed in the meet.”

    The men finished one spot lower than they did at the last WIAC Championship. They had a total of 117 places, which was 57 more than race winners Stevens Point.

    Schwamberger was not disappointed with the performance, although he still thought they had somewhat of an off day. He points to the strength of the competition as to why the team got sixth.

    “Coming in on paper we were supposed to be sixth,” Schwamberger said. “This is by far the strongest conference in the nation.”

    He said that every team that finished above Eau Claire is ranked in the top-20 in the nation.

    Sophomore Aric Runzheimer took 14th to be the fastest finishing Blugold in 25 minutes and 41 seconds. The winner of the meet was UW-Platteville’s senior Jason Garvens who finished in 24:45.

    Earlier in the year, Runzheimer said he was injured so it was good to get it together for this race though he felt like he could have placed better.

    Despite finishing two spots from last, Runzheimer feels confident that the team will do better at Regionals. He cited last year when the team didn’t do great at the WIAC Championship and they were able to improve at regionals.

    “We have the right mindset,” he said. “I think we know what we have to do, and we’ll be able to comeback.”

    Next Friday is the JV Cup in Iowa. Schwamberger said this is a meet for the runners who won’t race in Regionals. He said it’s a preview of seasons to come.

    The other runners have to prepare for the NCAA Regionals on Nov. 13th in Illinois.

    Only the top two finishers in those races get automatic bids to nationals, Schwamberger said. If you don’t get top-two, you have to get an at-large bid.

    Nationals are on Nov. 20th.

    Obviously neither team has qualified for nationals yet, but Schwamberger feels that both teams have a pretty good chance.

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    Women win at the WIAC Championship