Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

CC leaves Whitewater in the dust

Both the men and women’s UW Oshkosh cross country teams placed in the top five at the Tom Hoffman Invitational this past Saturday at UW-Whitewater, with the men having a fourth-place finish while the women came in third.

Highlights for the event include men’s freshman Spencer Muffler’s fifth-place finish in the 8,000-meter course and women’s freshman Reece Matheson’s 16th-place finish in the 6,000-meter race.

Titans head coach Eamon McKenna said despite giving both the men’s and women’s top runners the weekend off to rest, the competition was stiff across the board.

“We were relatively pleased with the performances overall this past weekend,” McKenna said. “We didn’t run some of our top runners in each gender to give them a week off from racing and allow them to focus on training, and a few of the other [Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference] schools did similar things at the meet, so it ended up being great competition for the runners we had competing.”

Matheson’s 16th-place finish in the 6,000-meter ended with a time of 26:14, which she said is a great achievement considering the top-25 finish.

“Overall I think the team ran well, especially on such a tough course,” Matheson said. “I am happy with my race, and I think it’s a good starting point for me to build off of this year.”

McKenna said Matheson had an impressive performance and continues to show she is a true asset to the team.

“Reece Matheson had a great race in her first 6K,” McKenna said. “Reece ran well in her first meet last week, which was a 5K at Parkside, and she continues to demonstrate her strength and competitiveness. She moved up throughout the race and ended up being our top finisher at Whitewater.”

Muffler’s fifth-place finish came in his second-ever collegiate race as he managed to finish the 8,000-meter course with a time of 27:59.

Muffler said he is pleased with his performance, but he is more so happy that the team overall performed at a top-tier level.

“I feel like we, as a team overall, improved from last week’s race which is always a goal,” Muffler said. “Fourth place as a team is a pretty strong performance given the (hot) conditions. We ran smart up front as a team, staying at a comfortably hard effort for the first third of the race and then picking the pace up when we needed to.”

McKenna said he is impressed with Muffler’s performance and his team-oriented mentality.

“Muffler ran an awesome race in his second collegiate race,” McKenna said. “He has a lot of ability, and despite struggling in his first race last week at UW-Parkside, he bounced back in a big way at Whitewater. He made a very strong move after the 2 mile mark, and he competed well from 3 miles to the end of the race to stay in the topfive overall.”

Other top-25 finishes for the men include junior Jake Rost, who placed 10th in the 8,000-meter course with a time of 28:30.

Top-25 finishers for the women were junior Hannah Thorn, who placed 19th in the 6,000 meter race with a time of 26:18. Freshman Paige Schilling finished 22nd in the same race with a time of 26:45.

Given the circumstances with temperatures in the 80s, McKenna admits finishing times were relatively slow in the races on Saturday. However, he is happy with the overall performance of both the men and women.

“Times were slow across the board, as the heat wave late last week caught everyone off guard,” McKenna said. “With that being said, our student athletes raced smart and competed well. We were hoping to be top three in each gender, and we just missed it with the men, as we lost a tie-breaker for third.”

The Titans travel to Falcon Heights, Minn. on Saturday to compete in the Roy Griak Invitational.

Last year, both the men’s and the women’s squads took home first-place tallies in the Griak Invitational.

For the men, all runners recorded top-10 finishes, including a second- and a third-place finish.

The women’s team also had three top-10 finishes, with the team taking home a fifth, ninth and 10th place, as well as a runner in 12th.

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