X-Country picks up pace

It was time to make a statement. The Lawrence University (Viking) Cross Country team competed last weekend at the Brissman-Lundeen Invite in Rock Island, Ill., instead of the classic Griak meet. The women’s team took 15 and the men took 19 out of 50 teams and over 600 runners. However, the more important statistic at this point in the season is the Vikings’ performance against other Midwest Conference (MWC) teams. It is a midseason preview of sorts for the MWC meet in three weeks.

“We are a team that has a shot at winning conference,” senior Cam Davies said. “We need to send a message and to make them know that we are going to contend, and we are a scary team.” Both teams certainly did so as the men placed ahead of all the other conference teams, while the women finished in the top four.

The men’s team was led by freshman Josh Janusiak whose time of 26:14 over the 8K course earned him 78 place, as well as the honor of Midwest Conference Athlete of the Week. Junior Max Edwards followed Janusiak in his first race of the year with a time of 26:49. Rounding out the top five for the men were freshman Ben Schaefer, senior Jordan Atkins and freshman Mayan Essak. The future is bright for the men’s team as many of the top finishers are freshmen.

The top finisher in the women’s 6K race was senior Clare Bruning in 72 place with a time of 24:05. Bruning was closely followed by senior Liz Landes in 76 at 24:09, and sophomore Erin Schrobilgen in 80 with the time of 24:11. Freshman Sierra Polzin, sophomore Hannah Kinzer, and senior Cora Williams were the Lady Vikes’ other top scoring finishers. The women’s team continues to use excellent pack running that is so vital to success on the course as all five of the scoring runners finished within 45 seconds of each other.

Moving forward, the team looks to continue its success and to push for Conference. The top five for the men and women is certainly not set as each runner is improving every race. This is a sign of a thriving and developing cross country team. “We have got to keep confidence going,” Davies said, an aspect especially critical going into this Saturday’s home meet. “We have got the confidence coming home and we are looking to build off that, to go into Conference in three weeks and to prove that we area young talented team.”

On Oct. 10, the Vikings’ cross country team will compete in Appleton at Reid Golf Course.