Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Cross country gears up for NCAA meets

The Warhawk men’s cross-country team poses for a photo after the Tom Hoffman invitational.

The crisp autumn air is laced with anticipation, the sound of pounding footsteps against the earth, and the rhythmic breaths of athletes pushing their limits. It’s that time of the year again, when the best collegiate runners from across the nation lace up their shoes, don their school colors, and embark on a journey of endurance, strategy, and unyielding determination.

For the UW-Whitewater men’s cross-country team, they look to begin a charge at the NCAA meets. 

Head coach Jeff Miller says “One of our team goals is to be better than last year and improve from last year.”

Miller’s words resonate with the team, serving as a resounding rallying cry that fuels their ambitions. Their dedication to self-improvement and determination to surpass prior achievements are the driving forces behind the Warhawks’ 2023 cross-country campaign.

First, the Warhawks will run at the NCAA regional meet to qualify for the national championship meet. The Warhawks enter the meet ranked No. 4 in the nation. The meeting will be held Nov. 11 in Eau Claire. They will be meeting a familiar foe with No. 1 UW-La Crosse also competing at this regional meet.

“We like how we stack up against La Crosse at the regional meet and beyond with only five runners being scored,” runner Christain Patzka on his team’s chances at the end of the season.

Going into the regional meet, Miller trusts his runners and has trust in the training they have done to succeed.

“With the regional meet, we are looking to be in control and just focusing on doing what we need to do to qualify for the NCAA championship meet,” Miller said.

In the past, the Warhawks have run very well at both meets. In 2022 the Warhawks won the regional meet and placed tenth at nationals led by Patzka as the national runner-up. In 2021 the Warhawks also won the regional meet and carried that momentum into a program-best finish of fifth at nationals. 

But the road to the NCAA championship meet doesn’t end at the regional level. Should the Warhawks secure their place, they will journey to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where Dickinson College will host the pinnacle of their season. Miller’s words remind his team that the culmination of their efforts is measured on this day.

“When it comes down to it, the only thing that matters is how you run on the day,” Miller said, “the rest of the season has led up to this, and at this race, we need our guys to show up and run their best.”

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Dan Emary
Dan Emary, Men's Sports Editor

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