Cross country successful at UW-Oshkosh

    Men win pre-national meet, women place eighth

    More stories from Meghan Hosely


    Photo by Meghan Hosely

    The men’s and women’s cross country teams saw a bit of their future this past weekend when they ran the same course for their upcoming conference and national meets at the UW-Oshkosh Pre-National meet and AAE Open Invitational.

    Cross country head coach Dan Schwamberger said this meet was “unique” because there were two races on both the men’s and women’s sides.

    The first race was the Pre-National Invitational, which Schwamberger said he ran his top ten runners from both teams. The second race was the AAE Open Invitational and Schwamberger said every other athlete ran in that race.

    The Blugolds faced teams they will see at the national meet, such as last year’s men’s national champions North Central (Ill.). Other teams the Blugolds ran against included Washington University (Mo.), St. Olaf (Minn.) and UW-Oshkosh.

    The men’s cross country team came out ahead, grabbing a first-place finish at the Pre-National Invitational; the women’s team placed eighth.

    At the same meet last year, Schwamberger said the women’s team placed 20th, so he was “really pleased” with this year’s results.

    “We definitely improved a lot from last year,” Schwamberger said. “There were 11 ranked teams in the women’s race, so we beat some teams that were ranked ahead of us. I think that sets us up for the championship portion of the season.”

    Senior Lucy Ramquist lead the pack for the Blugolds, placing second. Ramquist blazed through the 6k course with a personal best of 21:17.

    Junior Josh Thorson earned national athlete of the week accolades after winning the men’s 8k race with a time of 24:17.

    The next two Blugolds to cross the finish line were sophomore Darin Lau and senior Ryan Mugan. Lau and Mugan placed third and fourth overall, running with times of 24:39 and 24:40.

    Even though the men’s team beat North Central, Thorson said he and his teammates had a good race, but not a “perfect” race.

    “The fact that we were still able to win was definitely a confidence booster,” Thorson said. “But at the end of the day, that’s pretty much halfway through the season, so we’re still pretty far away from nationals. We just don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.”

    Schwamberger said the AAE Open Race showed the depth of both teams, since the women’s team placed second overall and the men’s team came in third.

    Regardless of which race the runners were in, Schwamberger said this meet was advantageous because it helps familiarize the course to his athletes.

    “… for our freshmen, this is the first time they’ve ever run the course,” Schwamberger said. “It’s really cool they got to see it prior to conference. It definitely plays to our advantage to be familiar with the course.”

    This Friday afternoon, the Blugolds will compete close to home in the City Wells Invite before heading into the championship season, starting with a conference meet back in Oshkosh.