Scots XC Hitting Mid-Season Stride
September 30, 2016
This past weekend the men’s and women’s cross country teams headed to the Brissman-Lundeen Invitational in Rock Island, Illinois. Due to so many teams in attendance the men’s and women’s races were broken up into two races this year, a gold and blue race. The gold being for the teams that finished in the bottom half of the meet last year and the blue for the teams finishing in the top half of the field.
The men’s team was the first to take to the course as they raced in the gold race. Hot, mid-afternoon weather made for a tough race for the Scots but they battled through for a strong showing. Leading the pack for the Monmouth Cross Country team was Cooper Pauley completing the 8k race with an impressive 11th place finish, as well as setting a new personal best time of 26:55. The next two Scots runners to cross the line were sophomores Tyler Bland and Tate Heiple taking 34th and 38th place overall. Bryent Van De Wostine and Jay Gray rounded out the top 5 scorers for the Scots who finished 5th out of the 31 teams. What made this finish significant was that the top 5 teams from the gold race qualify to move up to the blue race next year. Cooper Pauley had this to say about the team’s performance on the day, as well as how they can continue to move forward and improve, “Our last meet was really the first time this year that we could see what shape we were in. Everyone ran pretty well for early in the season. We need to work together to stay closer during races and avoid being spread out. If we continue to push ourselves in practices every day we will reach our goals by the end of the season”.
Later in the afternoon, the women’s team laced up to compete in the blue race with what was an extremely competitive field of runners. Junior Joanna Podosek cruised the 6k course with a time of 23:26 as she finished in the top 20 with a 19th place finish. A sizeable gap separated the number one and two runners for the women’s team as eighty-one places separated Podosek from second place Scots finisher Amy Wollenburg. The good news though was that the two through five runners were only separated by a total of twelve places. The three finishers that filled out Monmouth’s top five were Caitlyn Allen, Kate Saulcy, and Jessica Salinas. The women’s team took home a solid 17th place finish and qualified to remain in the blue race for next year’s invitational.