The UW Oshkosh men’s cross-country team finished 9th out of 34 teams at the Kollege Town Invitational at Lake Breeze Golf Club in Winneconne on Saturday, while the women’s team finished 11th out of 34 teams at the same invite.
With the weather getting colder, the Titan men’s team was led by junior Cody Chadwick, who finished 27th with a time of 25:37, while the Titan women were led by senior Amanda Van Den Plas, who finished in 51st with a time of 23:30.
“In terms of racing, the cold weather is usually beneficial until it gets below 20 degrees for distance racing. As long as our athletes warm up well, performances remain strong in the 25-55 degree range.”
The larger field meant more competition for the Titans on Saturday, providing its own advantages and disadvantages.
“It can be easier to compete in the large field because you always have bodies around you to help push you and to pass, whereas in a smaller field you often times can get stuck alone for periods of the race,” McKenna said. “On the flip side, the smaller field makes it easier to find the group you want to compete with. There are definitely advantages and detriments to each sized race.”
While some of the Titans were up to the task, McKenna went on to mention that there were things that needed to be worked on as the season starts to head down the homestretch.
“Our top two guys, Cody Chadwick and Andrew Rathkamp, did a nice job of responding to the level of competition on Saturday,” McKenna said. “They were patient and even keel and moved well throughout the race. Unfortunately, the rest of our top group struggled to stay together and run as a pack the way we hoped. We perhaps were a little too amped up and did not bring the requisite focus and patience.”
McKenna said the women’s team did a nice job toward the start of the race but faded during the event.
“On the women’s side, our top group attacked very well at the beginning, which was great to see,” McKenna said. “However, as the race progressed, we really struggled mentally to stay together and compete with the teams we were targeting. We have a lot of talent on the women’s team, and we need to do a better job of competing with confidence.”
The Titans will have one last tune-up meet on Friday—the UW Oshkosh Open at Lake Breeze Golf Course—before the WIAC Championship on Nov. 2. However, this upcoming meet will be used as a final audition before the final lineup for the WIAC Championship is set in stone.
“We will not run our top group this weekend before conference,” McKenna said. “Our top 11 men and our top 7-9 women will not compete this weekend as we focus on some quality workouts and freshening up mentally before we compete at the WIAC Championship.
Looking ahead, McKenna said his team needs to get healthy with conference just around the corner.
“Workouts and recovery are a priority this week,” McKenna said. “In terms of those competing, we will be looking to finalize our conference lineups based on how Friday’s races go and continuing to improve each week.”
The men’s and women’s titles at the Kollege Town Invitational were won by North Central College and Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.) respectively.