Cross country dominates at home in the Kollege Town Invitational

Michael Johrendt

The UW Oshkosh men’s and women’s cross country teams had their first of two consecutive home meets at the Lake Breeze Golf Course in Winneconne at the Kollege Town Invitational as the men took home 11th place out of 37 teams while the women had a strong 9th place finish out of 36 teams.
For the women’s team, junior runner Cheyenne Moore led the Titans with her own 9th place finish. Juniors Kristen Linzmeier and Erica Munyan were 28th and 53rd, respectively, and senior Leah Rendflesh was 89th overall.
Freshman Ashton Keene finished in 93rd place with senior Michelle Draxler (95th) and junior Cammy Garvelink (169th) helping the strong finish for the Titans.
Freshman runner Hannah Thorn said preparation for meets begins with help from teammates.
“Teammates are crucial because they are what make practice fun,” Thorn said. “They push you to run better during workouts which [helps translate] to racing faster.”
The men, coming off a 7th place finish in the Gene Davis Invitational, had another strong effort on Saturday. They had three runners finish in the top 60 overall, including two runners in the top 22.
Senior Charlend Howard helped lead Oshkosh with his third top-20 finish of the season by placing 19th. Senior Tyler Miletti was the other Titan joining Howard near the top while finishing 22nd.
Freshman Joe Zack said the team is able to improve only because it is dependent on all members and each runner’s preparation is key to the team’s success.
“It is [at] the point in my career where I have put in a lot of work, so the experience of having been here many times before forms the majority of my pre-race preparation,” Zack said. “It is still nerve wracking [with] the big meets, especially with the fact that this is a lot of our last times [running in these meets]. This is when having great teammates comes into play, [because] we put in work every day together, and can trust each other on race day when we are toeing that line together, with common goals in mind.”
Zack was next for UWO, and he took home 58th place. Fourth overall for the men was sophomore Jacob Rost who recorded a 125th place tally.
Freshman runner Jack Rindahl said he understands that for a team to be strong, it must push every member.
“Our team practices all at once no matter what skill level,” Rindahl said. “We go through the tough workouts together as a team. Everyone is encouraging and helps each other push through so we can become our best. A supportive team that backs you is very [important] and I believe we have that here at Oshkosh.”
Juniors Mitch Pauers, Trevor Damkot and Daniel Massey were the next runners up for Oshkosh. Pauers finished 145th, Damkot was in 154th place and Massey wrapped up the team’s performance with a 169th place finish.
For the women, Moore tied her career-best finish of the season, Linzmeier tied her second-best finish this year and Munyan finished with her third highest finish of the season. Junior Cammy Garvelink had her second best finish of the year and rounded out the runners for the Titans.
Coach Eamon McKenna said for runners to have meets at a home course is very important for preparation, especially for the freshman runners.
“It is a very valuable experience for our athletes to compete at home and to compete in a meet as large as our Kollege Town Sports Invitational,” McKenna said. “For freshmen, it is always good to be able to get accustomed to our home course because we host a lot of [crucial] meets.”
The Titans host the UW Oshkosh Open at the Lake Breeze Golf Club on Friday, Oct. 21.