The UW-Eau Claire Women’s Cross Country team and Thomas Breitbach on the men’s side competed at the NCAA Division III National Cross Country Championships last Saturday, November 20th at Wartburg College in Waverly, IA. The women had their strongest performance of the season finishing 4th of 32 teams led by All-Americans (top 35) Elly Prunty (sr.-Antigo)-17th of 279, 21:35(6K); Margaret Ho (sr.-WI Rapids)-22nd, 21:39 and Alyssa Sybilrud (jr.-Burnsville, MN)-23rd, 21:40. Eau Claire had the most All-Americans in the women’s race (Johns Hopkins University had 2 individuals in the top 35 and was the only other team in the field with multiple All-Americans), which ties the 1984 NAIA National Championship team and 1985 National runner-up team for the most Blugold All-Americans in a National Meet. Rounding out the top 7 for the women were Ashlyn Mauer (so.-Sheboygan Falls)-129th, 22:38; Madison Sawyer (fr.-Champlin Park, MN)-133rd, 22:40; Kacey Rindy (jr.-Fennimore)-142nd, 22:45 and Molly Woodford (sr.-Waukesha South)-222nd, 23:17. The women’s plan going in was to focus on good position the first 1/3 of the race, work together the 2nd 1/3 and finish strong the final 1/3. Elly, Margaret and Alyssa did a very good job of following through with this plan, which can be seen with their position at miles 1, 2, 3 and the finish: Elly – 92nd, 32nd, 16th, 17th; Margaret – 54th, 33rd, 21st, 22nd; and Alyssa: 93rd, 44th, 30th, 23rd. Ashlyn and Madison were in 130th and 135th at the mile and stayed in similar position throughout the entire race finishing in 129th and 133rd overall. Considering this was their first National experience, and Madison’s first year ever running cross country, I thought they both did a good job staying strong and holding position throughout the entire race.
Here’s a link to the complete Women’s National Results:
On the men’s side, Thomas Breitbach (sr.-Muskego) finished 93rd of 279 with an 8K time of 25:25. Breitbach’s plan going into the race was to be under control the first 1/3 and focus on moving up through the field the final 2/3’s. Unfortunately for Thomas the race didn’t get out extremely fast, which made moving up through the pack the final 2/3’s a difficult task. Here are his 1, 2, 3, and 4 mile positions: 135th, 93rd, 89th, 98th and 93rd at the finish. This is the 3rd year in a row that the Blugold men have been represented at the National Championships (Chris Wirtz in 2008 and the men’s team in 2009).
Here’s a link to the complete Men’s National Results:
Both the women’s and men’s team are now enjoying a few weeks of active rest to recharge from the cross country season. Training will begin picking up in mid-December in preparation for the indoor season, which begins with the UW-Eau Claire Blugold Alumni Meet on Saturday, January 15th. The meet information for the Blugold Alumni Meet can be found on our Track and Field website at: