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Cross country aims for best finish

September 28, 2006

Following the time trials event in early September, the UW-River Falls’ cross country teams have made an attempt to make the 2006 season their best season. 

The time trials determined the men’s roster, while the women’s roster was already established.

Although the team has only had three meets this season, Head Coach Don Glover and his athletes believe they have been living doing well in races and practices.

“Both teams are running well, and both teams have lived up to my expectations,” Glover said. “Both teams have the potential to be the best we have had here for many years.”
Both the men and women have a mix of freshmen and experienced veterans.

“The men have some great new freshmen — three in the top seven, led by J.D. Rojas, Chad Ernst and Nick Zeien,” Glover said. “With our returning runners this makes our team depth remarkable.”

“The freshmen women have had a bit of hard luck with injuries, but Leah Korf from Tartan High School is running in the top five,” Glover continued. “Sandra Kirchner and Carly Eggert are running in the top seven and as they learn and get more confidence they will continue to improve.”

If there have been any problems, they’re injuries. Junior Jason Phillippi said he hopes everyone can stay healthy and continue to compete.

Phillippi said the Falcons’ recent meet was the most difficult.

Most recently, the Falcons competed in the Griak Invitational and were successful in their individual attempts.

Becca Jordahl led the women, finishing 12th with 32 different teams competing. Freshman Chad Ernst placed highest for the Falcons in 94th, just a few seconds over teammate Phillippi.

“It was our first meet that I ran, but also where we faced real competition and had some things go wrong with people being sick and losing their spike in the mud on one of the hilliest and slowest courses,” Phillippi said.

On Sept. 24 both the men’s and women’s teams traveled to Northfield, Minn., for the St. Olaf Invitational, where Jake Cavanaugh and Amanda Kozicky finished in the top position for their respective teams.

The Falcons’ first meet was on Sept. 9, when they hosted the UW-River Falls Invitational.

Jose Rojas led the men, and Jordahl led the way for the women.

According to Phillippi, an average week for the Falcons is a difficult training process. Each week there are usually two hard workouts, a long run and a three-day recovery process before race day.

The Falcons were expected to stay active during the off-season. During the off-season, Glover gives his runners a guide, which can be difficult to follow with work schedules and classes.

Both the Falcon men and women travel to Eau Claire today to take part in the Blugold Open. The meet begins at 3 p.m.

Following the meet in Eau Claire, the Falcons only have one before the WIAC Meet, which takes place Oct. 28.