In what was perhaps a total one-eighty turn from the previous week’s home meet’s weather and the style of the meet, the Lawrence University Vikings Cross Country teams were able to deliver at UW-Oshkosh’s Brooks Invitational last Saturday, one of the premier Division III meets in the country. The Lawrence teams battled through the rain and the mud to perform well against stiff competition.
The race-day weather caused many problems. Head Coach Jason Fast remarked, “We were put in a weird place of being delayed by lightning.” He stated, “On top of that in order to get the women’s race in without being delayed, they started the women two minutes behind the men so there were over 1,000 runners on the course at the same time.” Nevertheless, despite the cold, mud and rain, Fast described the conditions as, “perfect Viking weather.”
On the men’s side there were several strong performances, but the players are still lacking the consistency as a team that they showed last year. In a field of over 500 runners, junior Curran Carlile set the pace for the Vikings, taking 67th place with his time of 26:16. Behind him was sophomore Kyle Dockery, who finished the 8,000m in 27:46. Running alongside him was junior Dan Thoresen, who finished a second behind him in 27:47. This was Thoresen’s second strong performance in as many weeks-exhibiting his improvement from last season. Junior Jamie Brisbois finished several seconds behind him with a time of 27:50. Sophomore Pat Mangan stepped up from recent weeks to run a 28:17, and wrapped up the scoring for the Viking men.
On the women’s side, freshman Clare Bruning once again lead the charge for the Vikings. Finishing 65th overall, she covered the 6,000m in 23:26. The women’s race also featured over 500 runners. Behind Bruning was junior Katherine Dannecker, who finished in 25:14. Third for the Vikings was junior Alyssa Herman, who finished right in front of freshman Liz Landes. Their times were 26:12 and 26:14, respectively. Herman had a strong race and was able to help the overall team score. Freshman Cora Williams crossed the line in 26:24 in an impressive performance for her as well.
Overall, Fast was pleased with the showing: “The women have shown great improvement every meet this year and our men haven’t been as consistent, but we are starting to see runners step up who have had trouble doing so in the past, which is a great sign moving forward to the conference championship.”
Both teams are looking forward to the big race, which takes place next weekend on Oct. 27. Fast noted, “Both teams are very ready and are looking forward to it.”