Cross country teams have strong showings

Michael Johrendt

The men’s and women’s UW Oshkosh cross country teams began its seasons at the Midwest Open in Somers on the UW-Parkside campus on Saturday, Sept. 12. The women’s cross country team garnered a total score of 169 points, which placed them sixth out of twelve teams. Finishing eighth, Sophomore Hannah Kuenzi was the top runner for the Titans. The women accumulated a total of 1:38:3.8 for their top five runners, which was three minutes and seventy two seconds away from first place. 38th place belonged to junior runner Kylee Verhasselt, 40th went to junior Erica Munyan, and sophomore runner Isabella Tremonti secured 55th place for the Titans. Kuenzi said that the team started off on the right foot. “Each summer a freshman weekend is held to help the incoming athletes to get to know the team before the first day of practice, which seems to help them adjust a lot,” Kuenzi said. “We also go to camp each summer, which is a lot of fun and promotes team building early on in the season.” The men’s took third place over the weekend. Their time of 2:11:33.3 with 63 points fell one minute and twenty seconds short of first place. Senior Jordan Carpenter said that the first race is just to get back into the feel of things. “Really that first meet is just about getting a chance to compete,” Carpenter said. “We don’t push our top guys all out, but it’s a great chance to get back into the racing mindset and a chance to get in a quality effort. It’s great when we can place well while doing those things, but there are bigger meets ahead that are much more important.” Carpenter took home second for the Titans, while junior Charlend Howard was 13th, freshman Wal Khat finished 15th, and senior Roberto Lara placed 17th. Head coach Eamon McKenna said the team needs to be able to come together early on in the season. “Team cohesion is always important to any team, regardless of age,” McKenna said. “We expect our returners and upper classmen to be good leaders, to set a tone of working hard and practicing with confidence, and welcoming our new and younger student athletes into our group with positivity and kindness. A team that demonstrates care for each other tends to compete harder for one another and with more confidence.” Both cross country teams continue its season at Ripon on Sept. 19.