Monday, November 8, 2010

UW – Eau Claire Cross Country: Conference / Luther Recap

The men’s and women’s cross country team will be competing at the Midwest Regional Championships this Saturday, November 13th at Saukie Golf Course in Rock Island, IL, which is hosted by Augustana College. The men race at 11 am and the women race at Noon.

The WIAC Championships, hosted by UW-Eau Claire, was on Saturday, October 30th at Whitetail Golf Course. The men finished 6th of 9 teams and were led by Aric Runzheimer (so.-Kettle Moraine) who was All-Conference placing 14th of 100 runners with an 8K time of 25:41. Finishing one spot behind Aric earning All-Conference Honorable Mention was Max Renner (sr.-Green Bay East) in a time of 25:47. Rounding out the top 7 for the Blugolds were Jeremy Kieser (jr.-Verona)-21st, 25:59; Thomas Breitbach (sr.-Muskego)-34th, 26:15; Aaron Easker (so.-Wittenberg-Birnamwood)-35th, 26:20; Josh Wieland (sr.-Menomonie)-38th, 26:25 and Conor Rafferty (so.-Menomonee Falls)-40th, 26:26. I was very pleased with the performance of Aric, Max and Jeremy. However, for the team to finish in the top 5 at Regionals, which is the number of teams that will go to Nationals from the Midwest Region, Thomas needs to get back to his front running form and Aaron, Josh and Conor need to work with Max, Aric and Jeremy. If the men are able to accomplish these two objectives at Regionals they will be very happy with the result.

Here’s a link to the complete Men’s Conference Results:

On the women’s side at Conference the Blugolds won their 4th straight WIAC title! The women packed it up and ran together most of the race. Alyssa Sybilrud (so.-Burnsville, MN) led the way finishing 4th of 102 runners with a 6K time of 22:41. Elly Prunty (sr.-Antigo, WI) finished one spot behind Alyssa in 22:47. Margaret Ho (sr.-WI Rapids) finished in 8th place with a time of 22:50, and she earned the prestigious WIAC Cross Country Scholar Athlete of Year Award. Rounding out the top 7 were Madison Sawyer (fr.-Champlin Park, MN)-12th, 23:09 (Madison was the top freshman at Conference); Ashlyn Mauer (so.-Sheboygan Falls)-14th, 23:13; Kacey Rindy (jr.-Fennimore)-17th, 23:20 and Molly Woodford (sr.-Waukesha South)-19th, 23:23. The entire top 7 earned All Conference honors (1-7 = 1st Team, 8-14=2nd Team, 15-20=Honorable Mention). It also should be noted that at Conference we’re allowed to run 12 runners. Charissa Drake (jr.-Parkview) was our 12th runner and finished in 38th place. Charissa would have been in the top 7 of every other Conference team except for La Crosse where she would have been their 8th runner. This highlights the great depth of the women’s team this year.

Here’s a link to the complete Women’s Conference Results:

This past Friday the top 14 men and top 14 women who aren’t racing Regionals (we rest 8 for Regionals, which include the top 7 from Conference + 1 alternate) traveled to Decorah, Iowa and competed in the JV Cup hosted by Luther College. This is a great meet because it gives our younger runners an opportunity to compete against two other strong programs with great depth on their rosters (Luther and Augustana (IL)) and get a feel for racing in November, which I hope prepares them for future years when they will be competing at Regionals and Nationals. Both teams ran strong on the breezy challenging course with the women’s team finishing 2nd and the men’s team winning. Leading the way for the women was Maria Peloquin (sr.-Prescott) who finished 4th of 48 with a 6K time of 23:21. Teresa Coughlin (jr.-Coon Rapids, MN), Charissa Drake and Nicole Blahnik (so.-Antigo) weren’t far behind finishing in 6th, 7th and 8th place with times of 23:37, 23:39 and 23:41. Maria Kopecky (sr.-Mercer) ended her Blugold cross country career in style PRing by 39 seconds and finishing in 10th place with a 6K time of 23:44. Rounding out the top 7 were Michelle Brunshidle (so.-St. Croix Central)-11th, 23:45 and Dana Griepentrog (fr.-Homestead)-13th, 23:48.

Here’s a link to the complete Women’s Luther Results:

On the men’s side Matt Scott (fr.-Kiel) was the overall champion beating the field of 61 runners by 7 seconds in an 8K time of 26:23. Matt worked with teammates Kevin Weber (sr.-Irondale, MN) and Michael Borglin (jr.-Whitewater) through three miles and then pulled away the final two miles. Kevin finished 2nd overall in 26:30 and Michael finished 3rd in 26:37. Freshman Matt Wenaas (Chippewa Falls McDonell), who was our 4th runner, broke 27 minutes for the first time finishing 6th overall with a time of 26:55. Rounding out the top 7 were Philip Schommer (so.-Kimberly)-12th, 27:08; Alex Cole (fr.-Lakeville North, MN)-14th, 27:12 and Joe Martschinke (fr.-Waukesha West)-15th, 27:12. Five freshmen broke 27 minutes in the 8K this year, which is by far the most freshmen we’ve had break 27 minutes in the four years that I’ve been coaching at Eau Claire.

Here’s a link to the complete Men’s Luther Results:

Thank you to all of the Alums that have made it out to cheer us on at races this year. Hopefully we’ll see a few more of you down at Augustana this Saturday!

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