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Cross country team fares well at regionals

November 16, 2006

On Nov. 11, the UW-River Falls men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Augustana College to compete in the NCAA Midwest Regional Cross Country Meet.

Becca Jordahl finished Saturday’s race in 22:01, two seconds shy of tying the UWRF record. Her time was good enough for Jordahl to pick up 12th overall and advance to the national competition.

Jordahl wasn’t the only Falcon woman receiving praise on Saturday. Amanda Kozicky picked up All-Region honors, placing 35th overall, and finishing the race in 22:40.

The NCAA Div. III Championship race will be held Nov. 18 at Wilmington College in Ohio. The top seven runners from each region who were not part of the team advancing to national competition are invited to participate in the national competition.

The women finished 11th overall out of 38 teams, while the men placed 15th out of 37 teams.

Besides Jordahl and Kozicky, Maria Michaud, Leah Korf, Carly Eggert, Stacy Dekkers and Brittany Schillinger were competing for the Falcons.

In the Regionals, junior Jason Phillippi led the Falcon men, finishing 53rd overall with a time of 26:00.

Chad Ernst, Justin Youngblom, Ben Kirmse, Scott Degner, Jose Rojas and Bobby Hanson also competed for River Falls.

Prior to the regional competition, the Falcons placed well at the WIAC conference meet. The women placed sixth and the men placed seventh. Jordahl and Phillippi were also the top Falcons running in that competition.

Head coach Don Glover said that this season was great and that the runners had fun and improved their times. He also said that the team lived up to all the expectations they had coming into the season. However, he said the team would have liked to place higher at the conference meet.

“I know that both teams placed in the top half, and that seems like better results than years past,” Glover said. “We would like to have done better. We did not place in the top half.”

The regional competition was stiff and the team of seven was chosen by who could give the Falcons their best time.

“We had a great regional meet,” Glover said. “The men placed higher than they ever have, and the women were one point from the top 10. The women had two all region runners.”

Some runners thought the meet didn’t go as well as planned.

“It went Ok, highest finish in over a decade, 15th place out of like 38 teams,” Phillippi said. “The course was a little slow, the race went out fast in the first mile. Really there are no excuses, just should have been better prepared.”

Phillippi said this season was the best thus far under Coach Glover.

Jordahl placed first for the Falcons in all but one of the races that she ran in and if she places in the top 35 at Nationals, she will earn All-American honors.

“I’m trying not to set my expectations for Nationals too high, I am really just extremely grateful to be going,” Jordahl said. “I would have never thought I would be getting this opportunity when we started the season this summer. Needless to say I am overwhelmingly excited. I hope to run my best, have fun and return with no regrets.”

Even though the course of the season didn’t always run smooth and there were some difficult patches, the athletes tried to always keep positive.

“All the time and hard work dedicated to the team makes it difficult sometimes,” Jordahl said. “But if you really love the sport it’s easy to overlook those difficult times.”

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