Men’s and Women’s Cross Country: ’Hawks finish 7th, 8th in Illinois

 

By Justin St. Peter

The Warhawk cross country teams set many personal records  at the Gil Dodds Invitational in Warrenville, Illinois.             The men finished 8th out of 11 teams, while the women took 7th out of 10 teams.

The Warhawk men scored 247 points. Coach Jeff Miller was not concerned with the finish.

“Nearly everyone had lifetime or season bests,” Miller said.

He went on to say this race was more about opportunities for the people that did not race in last weekend’s meet.

Casey Merrill was the top runner for the Warhawks, finishing 44th place with a time of 27:27.

“Casey Merrill shaved two and a half minutes off of his time from practice,” Miller said.

Red-shirt freshman Austin Seeger also shined with a time of 27:51 in 62nd place out of 136 runners.

Wheaton College, the No. 3 team in the Midwest Region, won the men’s competition, scoring just 17 points. They dominated the meet with six of the top seven finishers.

Wheaton’s James Waterman won the invitational with a time of 25:59.

Illinois-Wesleyan came home second, followed by the No. 1 team in the Midwest Region, North Central College.

On the women’s side, Illinois Wesleyan, the top team in the Midwest, won the invitational with a total score of 42 points.             They also had the top finisher in Rachael Williams with a time of 22:35. Illinois Tech finished second, and Carthage took third.

Finishing seventh, with 215 points, were the Warhawk women, who, like the men, were more concerned about giving others opportunities to run. Many personal bests were set on the women’s side as well.

Sophomore Paeton Wantuch led the Warhawks with a time of 24:40. She finished 36th out of 150 runners and had the second fastest time on the team this season.

Junior Dana Landem was the second finisher for the Warhawks with a time of 25:14. She finished 50th.

Looking ahead, the ’Hawks have a meet each of the next three weeks.

The ’Hawks will face a number of conference teams in this week’s Roy Griak Invitational.

The top ten runners from last week’s meet will be running.

“It will give us a good indication of where we are at,” Miller said.

It will be an all-day event with Divisions I-III men’s and women’s cross country teams in the morning and high school teams competing in the afternoon.

UW-Whitewater travels to Cuba City next week and Winneconne the week after.