The UW Oshkosh cross-country teams competed in the Gene Davis Invitational at Reid Golf Course Saturday, Oct. 6 in Appleton. Both teams performed well, with the women placing fourth out of 11 teams and the men placing third out of 10.
The Oshkosh men’s team sat out their top eight runners in order to give the other Titans experience leading the group. Junior Henry Laste talked said he approached the race knowing he would be running in less-than-ideal conditions.
“I hadn’t had a lot of good races leading up to Lawrence, so I came in focused on fixing issues I thought I’d been having,” Laste said. “I wanted to prove any doubts I had in my head wrong as well. It paid off, and I was able to run a personal best on a muddy course.”
The men’s team all placed within 32 seconds of each other on Saturday. Fabian Salinas finished 12th with a time of 26:58 and Noah O’Neill followed close behind with a time of 27:02 in 14th place. Spencer Muffler placed 21st, Laste 23rd and Kiernan Koepke 24th with times of 27:26, 27:29 and 27:30 respectively.
The UWO women’s cross-country team had two runners finish in the top six places. Hannah Lohrenz finished in fifth place with a time of 23:33 while teammate Amanda Van Den Plas followed four seconds behind to take sixth place. To round out the top five, Ashton Keene placed 29th (25:00), Megan Berg took 32nd place (25:12) and Tayah Cunningham (25:49) took 40th place.
Head coach Eamon McKenna said her team’s attitude and effort was great over the weekend.
“I was impressed overall by our group,” McKenna said. “We continue to do a good job of getting out of our comfort zone. Some big keys to being successful competitors in distance running are being willing to get accustomed to being uncomfortable and accepting pain.”
The course was not in ideal conditions on Saturday. Van Den Plas said the race was a good test of adversity.
“My mentality going into the race at Lawrence was to just get another tough race in,” Van Den Plas said, “considering the sloppy conditions.”
The UWO cross-country teams will host the UW Oshkosh Open at Lake Breeze Golf Club in Winneconne on Friday, Oct. 19. The women’s team will start at 1 p.m. and the men’s team will follow at 1:45 p.m.”