Cross country prepares for conference

Michael Johrendt

The men’s and women’s cross country teams ran their second of three consecutive meets at the Lake Breeze Golf Club during the UW Oshkosh Open on Oct. 23. The men were led by freshman Fabian Salinas’ fourth-place finish as the team took home a second place finish in a meet that included two teams and unattached runners. Salinas’ time of 27:28 was less than a minute behind first place and only two seconds behind third place. Freshman Ken Peters (6th), junior Derrick Rufer (12th) and sophomore Dan Massey (15th) rounded out the top runners for the Titans. Peters said being able to rest some runners is key, especially with the conference championship coming up next week. “It helps the team out by holding the top guys out,” Peters said. “They are able to get a work out and rest so they can focus on conference this weekend.” For the women’s team, sophomore Isabella Tremonti took home gold for the Titans, finishing first with a time of 24:00 in the 6,000 meter event. Tremonti said that while the top finish was obviously nice, that is not what it’s all about. “Having the other half of the team cheering us on during the race gave us a lot of confidence and made it more exciting,” Tremonti said. “So it wasn’t necessarily the first place finish that boosted the confidence of the entire team, but rather just everyone being there for one another and showing support from both the men’s and women’s side.” The Titans rounded out the top four as senior Rhea Fiorita took home second, sophomore Jessica Stamn finished third and senior Taylor Linblad secured fourth place. Head coach Eamon McKenna said being able to prep for conference next week becomes more important with each practice, which is the main focus this late in the season. “The team’s focus changes slightly as our runners who are no longer competing are expected to continue to practice,” McKenna said. “More time is put into the conference and regional group at this point in the season. We talk more specifically about race plans and goals with that group.” The season continues as the men and women both face off at their respective Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Championship meets on Saturday, Oct. 31 in Winneconne.