Sunday, September 26, 2010

UWEC Cross Country: Griak & St. Mary’s Recap

It was a great weekend for UW-Eau Claire Cross Country! The Blugolds raced their top 12 women and top 11 men at the University of Minnesota Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday, and the rest of the team competed at St. Mary’s University Friday.

On the women’s side at Griak, Alyssa Sybilrud (jr.-Burnsville, MN) became the first Blugold ever to win an individual Griak title! Alyssa outpaced the field of 447 runners over 6K with a winning time of 22:05, which was 11 seconds faster than her nearest competitor. Alyssa helped lead the women to a 2nd of 30 team finish behind UW-Oshkosh. Rounding out the top 7 for the Blugolds were Elly Prunty (sr.-Antigo) - 9th, 22:52; Margaret Ho (sr.-WI Rapids) – 14th, 23:12; Ashlyn Mauer (so.-Sheboygan Falls) – 25th, 23:36; Teresa Coughlin (jr.-Coon Rapids, MN) – 46th, 24:07; Kacey Rindy (jr.-Fennimore) – 50th, 24:12; and Molly Woodford (sr.-Waukesha South) – 54th, 24:16. The Blugold women finished 3rd at Griak last year. The key factor as we progress further into the season will be to get the 5th, 6th and 7th runner up closer to the top 4. Our spread from 1 to 7 last year at Griak was 1 minute and this year it was 2:11. Although, having the top runner this year obviously increased the spread in comparison to last year (last year’s top Blugold women’s place / time was 15th / 23:17).

Here’s a link to the complete women’s Griak results:

The Blugold men had a very strong day at Griak placing 2nd behind UW-Platteville, who is currently ranked 6th Nationally in NCAA Division III, and ahead of following NCAA Division III ranked teams: 15th ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, who finished 4th; 16th ranked Grinnell, who finished 5th; 24th ranked Hamline, who finished 6th; and 32nd ranked UW-Oshkosh, who finished 3rd. The Blugolds currently aren’t ranked; however, I feel this will probably change after Saturday’s race. Thomas Breitbach (sr.-Muskego) led the Blugolds placing 7th of 300 with an 8K time of 26:13. Rounding out the top 7 were Jeremy Kieser (jr.-Verona) – 15th, 26:24; Aaron Easker (so.-Wittenberg Birnamwood) – 22nd, 26:35; Aric Runzheimer (so.-Kettle Moraine) – 23rd, 26:38; Max Renner (sr.-Green Bay East) – 32nd, 26:43; Charlie Daehler (sr.-Whitefish Bay) – 40th, 26:55; and Matt Scott (fr.-Kiel) – 57th, 27:12 (Matt was the 4th freshman overall in the race). The Blugold men finished 6th last year at Griak. As always, the Midwest Region is looking incredibly strong; however, I am encouraged by this early season result because it shows that the men have a legitimate shot of competing at Nationals for the second year in a row as a team.

Here’s a link to the complete men’s Griak results:

At St. Mary’s both teams showed great depth with the women placing 2nd of 7 teams behind Oregon State University and the men topping the field of 6. The women were led by a quintet of underclassman. Madison Sawyer (fr.-Champlin Park, MN) led the Blugolds placing 7th of 84 in a 6K time of 24:03. Rounding out the top 5 were Michelle Brunshidle (so.-Saint Croix Central) – 8th, 24:07; Dana Griepentrog (fr.-Homestead) – 11th, 24:42; Alana Jenkins (fr.-Eau Claire Memorial) – 12th, 24:51; and Katie Thoe (fr.-Menomonie) – 13th, 24:55.

On the men’s side, veteran Josh Wieland (sr.-Menomonie) won the meet outpacing the field of 63 runners over the challenging 8K course in a time of 27:24. Rounding out the top 5 for the men were Philip Schommer (so.-Kimberly) – 3rd, 27:42; Alex Cole (fr.-Lakeville North, MN) – 5th, 28:07; Jake Zander (so.-Chippewa Falls McDonell) – 6th, 28:17; and Tanner Beebe (fr.-Platteville) – 7th, 28:23. Both the women and men did a great job being patient, working together and finishing strong the final 1/3 of the race on the hilly course situated among the bluffs on St. Mary’s campus.

Here’s a link the to the women’s St. Mary’s results:

Here’s a link to the men’s St. Mary’s results:

Both the women and men will be racing everyone this Friday at the UW-Eau Claire Blugold Open. For meet information and results please go to:

I’ll keep you posted on how we do, and go Blugolds!

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