Colfax, Wis. – The UW-Platteville men's and women's cross country teams competed at the 2018 WIAC Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Oct. 27 hosted by UW-Eau Claire. The conference course, which will also serve as the Midwest Region course, consists of rolling slopes on the Whitetail Golf Course in Colfax, Wis. Successes were seen at the individual level, although team successes fell short.
In the women's 6,000m race, the Pioneers placed seventh as a team scoring 139 points. There were 19 places which separated third through sixth place teams. UW-Stevens Point placed sixth with 129 points, UW-River Falls came in fifth with 121 points, UW-Stout finished in fourth with 117, and UW-Oshkosh snagged third place with 110 points. UW-Eau Claire women won the championships with 39 points, followed up by UW-La Crosse scoring 63 points.
Seniors Johanna Meister and Katie Wardinski placed in the top 20, becoming All-Conference runners. Meister ran 22:48.1 taking 10th place in the race and earning second team All-Conference. Meister was also named to the WIAC All-Sportsmanship Team. Wardinski finished with All-Conference honorable mentions, placing 15th with 23:00.4.
Finishing as the third Pioneer female, senior Janelle Ferguson placed 35th with a time of 23:47.9. Following in 44th place, Caitlyn Ifft finished in 24:22.4. Rounding out the score for the Pioneers as the fifth runner, Danielle Nelson placed 60th with nearly a 20 second personal best, 25:18.9.
The Pioneer men's cross country team finished in sixth place at the WIAC Cross Country Championships. UW-Platteville scored 134 points, while only 15 points separated fourth and sixth place teams. UW-Stevens Point finished with 119 points, and UW-Oshkosh finished with 127 points. The top three teams in the men's 8,000m race were UW-La Crosse with 38 points, UW-Eau Claire with 69 points, and UW-Stout with 86 points.
Senior Zach Lee was the first Pioneer to finish the race, coming second place to Thomas Schultz from UW-La Crosse. Lee ran 24:51.6, just a mere 5 seconds off his season best time, to be named first team All-Conference. Zach Klokow, placing 21st, ran a personal best time of 25:40.5. Senior Alex Clark finished in 35th place clocking 26:16.2, also a personal best time.
Finishing as the fourth runner, senior Nolan Wallenkamp came in 39th place with a time of 26:23.6. Completing the scoring for the Pioneers, senior Kyle Herbrand crossed the finish line in 47th place with a time of 26:40.9.
Notable performances from the day included a break through race from freshman Jacob Harland. Harland finished on the heels of Herbrand in 48th place, running a personal best time of 26:41.6. Sophomore Grant Munson ran a personal best as well, clocking 27:25.2. Jarod Baker was on the hunt for a personal best today, falling short by four seconds, running 27:30.9. Sophomore Nick Hein was named to the WIAC All-Sportsmanship Team.
Two Pioneer student-athletes were awarded the prestigious WIAC Scholar Athlete award. In order to receive the award student-athletes must be in their final season of competition in cross country, have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher, and have competed in the sport of cross country for at minimum two seasons. Meister and Lee were named co-recipients of the award. Eight women were nominated for the award. Meister shares the Judy Kruckman WIAC Scholar Athlete award with UW-La Crosse student-athlete Sadie Kroll. Meister was the sixth woman in UW-Platteville history to receive the award. Six men were nominated for the award this year. Lee shares the Max Sparger WIAC Scholar Athlete award with UW-La Crosse student-athlete Thomas Schultz. Lee became only the second male athlete in UW-Platteville history to receive the award.
In two weeks, the UW-Platteville men's and women's cross country teams will compete at the Midwest Regional Championships back at Whitetail Golf Course in Colfax, Wis. on Saturday, Nov. 10.