Cross country team begins year strong

Originally published in the September 10, 2010 issue

The men and women’s cross country coach, Marc Burns, made a strong debut last weekend at the J.K. Gold Classic in Augusta, Kan.

The meet was the opening of the 2010 season for both squads.

Senior Mary Goldkamp turned in a career-best time in the women’s 4k, finishing 5th and beat out more than 100 competitors. Her time of 14:08 was just 38 seconds behind champion Tonya Nero of Wichita State.

The Braves had two more runners finish in the top 15 with freshmen Whitney Schumacher and Cassie Lohmeier coming in 12th and 14th place respectively.

Wichita State and Kansas State were the only two other schools to have three runners finish in the top 15.

Senior Lauren Fog also ran a career best time at 15:17 finishing 25th in the event.

Schumacher said she was happy with how the team competed in the first meet of the season.

“I think the team performed very well at Wichita,” she said. “We listened to Coach Burns and everybody did exactly what we were told. We all ran in strong packs and worked together and I think it was a great start to our season.”

On the men’s side, senior Andrew Wieser turned in a team best time of 19:14 in the 6k to finish 14th overall and just six seconds outside the top 10.

“I think I had a pretty strong race,” Wieser said. “I went out relaxed and I was passing people the whole second half of the race so it was a real confidence booster. It was nice to start my final season out on a strong note.”

Senior Billy Miller and freshman Nathan Davis finished just two seconds apart to claim 26th and 28th place, respectively.

Senior Zach Bowling (33rd), freshman Thomas Harayda (34th), and junior Chris Frank (42nd) rounded out the field for the Braves and gave the team six runners in the top 50.

Wieser said the team’s strong performance might be a sign of things to come this season.

“There were solid performances all around and it was nice to have the chance to run an early race on the conference course,” he said. “I think we proved to ourselves that we can achieve great things this season.”

Going forward the team has goals to become a major contender in the conference.

“We want to build upon our performance last year and come out and prove that we belong in the top half of the conference and will be staying there for a very long time,” Wieser said.

Both the men and women’s team will compete on the same course again on Oct. 30 for the Missouri Valley Conference Cross Country Championships.