The UW-Platteville men headed into the Blugold Invitational with a No. 9 regional ranking and nationally unranked. Ready to prove themselves, the Pioneer men had an agreeseive start to the race before settling in. They trailed No. 17 nationally ranked St. Olaf at the 5,000m mark. During the final two miles of the race the Pioneers would claw their way ahead of St. Olaf to finish fourth in the 13-team invitational. The Pioneers' 124 points edged out St. Olaf's 140 points. Finishing behind St. Olaf was No. 7 regionally ranked UW-Whitewater with 169 points. UW-LaCrosse won the meet with 33 points, host Eau Claire was second with 80 points and UW-Stout third with 91 points.
The Pioneer charge was led by senior captain Walker Rynes finishing the 8,000m course in third place with a personal best time of 25:08. Teammate Zach Lee finished close behind in fifth place, also achieving a personal best with a time of 25:14. Logan Steinhoff was the Pioneer's third runner in 36th place with a time of 26:10. Next were Ben Rhode (48th, 26:27) and Cole Shurbert-Hetzel (60th, 26:39). Mitchell Frager (69th, 26:46) and Kyle Herbrand (70th, 26:47) rounded out the Pioneer top-7.
Also competing for the Pioneers were Benjamin Nemec (73rd, 26:51), Alex Clark (77th, 26:53), Mitchell Muffler (90th, 26:59), Isaac Schuetz (95th/27:06), Nolan Wallenkamp (101st/27:14), Timothy Knobloch (119th/27:26), Devin Johnson (125th/27:29), Cory Flood (129th/27:33), Ben Claas (167th/28:13), Grant Munson (167th/28:13), Nick Hein (171st/28:19), Lars Hay (184th/28:31), Alec Kessel (193rd/28:37), Jarod Baker (212th/29:18), Nathan Taylor (240th/30:33), Tyler Swenson (250th/33:10), and Thomas Chelius (251st/33:39).
The Pioneer woman headed into the Invite unranked in the region. Ready to prove themselves, they beat out No. 8 ranked Whitewater. The Pioneers also finished ahead of conference rivals UW-Oshkosh and UW-Stout. The lady Pioneers finished 6th as a team with 189 point, behind No. 19 nationally ranked St. Olaf's 118 points. Host UW-Eau Claire's 47 points beat out UW-LaCrosse's 76 points for the team title.
Leading the Pioneer women was All-Region runner Katie Wardinski finishing the 6,000m course in 13th place with a time of 22:37. Following close behind was Johanna Meister in 16th place and a time of 22:45, almost a full two minute personal best. Janelle Ferguson was the pioneers' third woman finishing in 69th place with a time of 24:11. Camille Felton finished 98th in 24:41 and Kaitlyn Galgon 99th in 24:43. Rounding out the Pioneer top-7 were Caitlyn Ifft (102nd/24:45) and Kimberly Gutierrez (105th/24:48).
Also competing for the Pioneers were Mariah Brown (117th/25:00), Hannah Ihlenfeldt (135th/25:33), Anna Drazkowski (146th/25:48), Brenna Kautz (153rd/26:01), Danielle Nelson (200th/27:56), Haley Daniels (204th/28:18), Kara Linzmeier (217th/29:25), Lexie Richarson (223rd/29:48), and Anna O'Hern (233rd/31:56).
The Pioneers compete next week at the Loras Invite on Friday, October 6. Women's race starts 4:45pm, men start at 5:30pm.