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Barker, Schellinger earn AD3I Cross Country honors
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The Association of Division III Independents named two Blue Angels to its All-Association Cross Country nominees this week. Junior harriers Emily Barker (Oconomowoc, Wis.) and Vanessa Schellinger (West Bend, Wis.) both took home awards, on the Second Team and Honorable Mention respectively.
Barker led the team in all five races she competed in this season, taking home top-25 honors in three contests. Her best early-season mark came at the UW-Parkside Midwest Open 5,000-meter meet where she placed 35th with a time of 20:09.05. She continued to improve as the 6K season progressed, notching a time of 24:53.0 at Wisconsin Lutheran's Warrior Open, good enough for 16th place overall.
Schellinger was a prime example of how one should continuously improve throughout the season, consistently taking off seconds from race to race. Her best time early in the season was over 24 minutes at the 5K UW-Parkside meet, but she turned in her finest performance at the NCAA Regional competition at Lake Breeze Golf Club in Winneconne, Wis., with a time of 26:28.74. That mark was tops on the Mount Mary team and shaved well over two minutes off her first 6K time—numbers impressive to the AD3I selection committee.
UC-Santa Cruz and Nebraska Wesleyan dominated the individual AD3I First and Second Team awards, as the Banana Slugs' sophomore Evelyn Borchard also took home Runner of the Year honors. University of Maine-Presque Isle's freshman Kayla Legassie earned Rookie of the Year award and coach Chris Smith was awarded Coach of the Year honors.
All-Association of Division III Independents Cross Country Teams
RUNNER OF THE YEAR: Evelyn Borchard, So., UC-Santa Cruz
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Kayla Legassie, Fr., University of Maine-Presque Isle
COACH OF THE YEAR: Chris Smith, University of Maine-Presque Isle
Blue Angels Compete at Soggy WPC Championships
BELOIT, Wis. – The Mount Mary Cross Country team battled more than just a challenging course Saturday at the Wisconsin Private College Championship in Beloit—with a few runners out to illness and/or injury, head coach Eugene Miranda was anticipating only a handful of competitors.
"Our five runners truly displayed what team spirit is about," Miranda said. "Last week I was elated when we had all nine of our runners present at the Wisconsin Lutheran College meet where everyone put out a great effort to raise the standing of our team."
Yet with just five making the trip town Interstate 43, all five needed to participate for Mount Mary to qualify for an official team score.
"About an hour before the start of the race, both Laura (Bavlnka) and Lauren (Van Krey) announced they would run," Miranda said. "Knowing the condition that they were both in, I felt that their decision was based on not letting the team down. The two of them are to be commended for their gallant effort."
"To compound our problems, the incessant rain, the wet and puddle-filled course and slippery conditions did not make things any easier.
Saturday's miserable weather didn't make the course any easier for the runners as incessant rain made the wet course quite slick. Yet the Blue Angel harriers persevered and finished in 12th place out of 14 total teams.
Mount Mary was paced by junior Vanessa Schellinger (West Bend, Wis.) whose time of 26:46.23 came in 60th place overall. Bavlnka crossed the line less than two minutes later, cracking the top 100.
Team leader and junior Emily Barker (Oconomowoc, Wis.), who has been battling shin splint-like injuries for much of the season, did not race on Saturday.
The Blue Angels will have nearly a month to prepare for its post season race, the NCAA DIII Regional competition in Winneconne, Wis. on Nov. 11. The meet, hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, will feature several of the area's top teams vying for two spots in the NCAA Championship race.
Wisconsin Private College Championship
Cross Country Finishes Eighth at Warrior Invite
Harriers experience Big-time Race at Minnesota Meet
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. – The Mount Mary Cross Country team made the long trek to Minnesota's Twin Cities Saturday, taking part in the Gophers' Roy Griak Invitational. Despite some rather disappointing results, the Blue Angels witnessed some of the region's best cross country squads as over 160 collegiate men's and women's teams took to the Les Bolstad Golf Course just northeast of the University of Minnesota campus.
"We took our first overnight trip of the season," head coach Eugene Miranda said. "The course was quite challenging and most of our runners were pushed to the limit. It was quite an experience to run against 30 other teams and some of the best Division III teams in the country were there."
The meet is one of the Midwest's biggest cross country events of the fall season and featured six collegiate races divided by division, four high school races and a kids' run this year. Taking place on a golf course with great variance in elevation, Mount Mary battled the early morning start as well as the overall excitement surrounding the event. When the dust settled, the Blue Angels battled to finish in 28th place out of 30 teams in the Maroon III race, but Miranda was "not displeased at all as every one of them tried their best and did not give up."
Team leader Emily Barker (Oconomowoc, Wis.) turned in the best time on the team, despite a few pre-match struggles. Barker's time of 26:37.2 was good enough for 145th place, while junior Vanessa Schellinger (West Bend, Wis.) wasn't too far behind posting a time of 28:04.9 to take home 179th place.
Freshman Mollee Ostrenga (Escanaba, Mich.) returned to the squad for her first official race in Minnesota, finishing fifth in the team race and 195th overall.
The Blue Angel running crew will be back in action Saturday at noon for the Warrior Invitational, hosted by Wisconsin Lutheran College. The meet will take place just south of the Zoo Interchange in Greenfield Park in West Allis.
1. UW-Eau Claire – 95
1. Keller, Linda (Minn.-Morris) – 21:48.9
Blue Angels crack top 15 in Mequon
MEQUON, Wis. – The Mount Mary College Cross Country squad earned its first Top 15 finish of the year at Concrodia University-Wisconsin's Falcon Invitational Saturday. With a team score of 415, the Blue Angels took 14th place out of 19 total colleges in the team's first 6-kilometer race of the season.
"I was impressed by the grit and determination shown by our runners," head coach Eugene Miranda said. "It takes quite a lot of practice to learn pacing for races. So even though some of our runners ran at too fast a pace for the first mile, they pressed on to complete the race fighting off the painful effects of lactic acid. I am confident that as the season progresses, more of our runners will master the art of running at a constant pace."
While the previous two races Mount Mary attended were both five kilometers in distance, the Falcon Invite is the first of many 6K races the Blue Angels will attack this year. With the increased distance comes increased need for discipline, as Miranda mentioned several runners started at too fast a pace.
Junior Emily Barker (Oconomowoc, Wis.) took top honors among the Blue Angels racers, as her 24:57 time also placed her in 24th overall. Junior Vanessa Schellinger (West Bend, Wis.) maintained the most regular pace, finishing with a time of 28:42 and an 81st place finish.
Mount Mary will have the next two weeks off as it prepares for arguably its biggest meet of the year, the Roy Griak Invitational on the campus of the University of Minnesota. The Blue Angels will travel and stay overnight in Minneapolis Friday in order to be up and ready for the 9 AM start time that Saturday.
1. Carthage College - 51
1. O'Grady, Megan (Carroll) – 22:50.5
Cross Country five finish 15th at Parkside, several PR's set
SOMERS, Wis. – Mount Mary College head Cross Country coach Eugene Miranda received some discouraging news before Saturday's race at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Midwest Open that a pair of key runners would not be making the trip to rural Racine.
Yet facing a very difficult course and a field ripe with Division I and Division II competition, Miranda was quickly impressed with the Blue Angels' 15th-place finish. Though only five Blue Angels made the trip—the minimum amount to qualify as a complete team—every one of them achieved personal record times at Saturday's Open.
"If you compare Saturday's results to last week's results, you may understand why my dejection turned to elation," Miranda said. "Every single one of our runners did much better than last week. To emphasize their improvement, I need to stress that today's course was more challenging than last week's.
"The huge improvement that was made in only a week is due to the dedication and determination of our runners."
Junior Emily Barker (Oconomowoc, Wis.) led the way again for Mount Mary, reaching a personal best time 20:09.5 for the 5K course. Senior Lauren VanKrey (Mayville, Wis.) took nearly a minute and a half off last week's time, while the other three runners took off between 34 and 65 seconds from last week's race at St. Norbert.
Mount Mary, with the return of Shantae Chapman and Laura Bavlnka, who missed Saturday's race, will look to continue improving personal times next Saturday in nearby Mequon, Wis. for the race hosted by Concordia Univeristy-Wisconsin.
UW-Parkside Midwest Open
Cross Country takes 10th at Tom Barry
GREEN BAY, Wis.- The Mount Mary College cross country team hit the trail running Saturday, finishing 10th out of 12 collegiate teams at the Tom Barry Invitational in Green Bay's Colburn Park. Not only was it the first race of the 2012 season, it was the first career race for many of this year's Blue Angels squad.
"Mount Mary started out on a very promising note as everyone on the team put out a very credible effort," head coach Eugene Miranda said.
Junior Emily Barker (Oconomowoc, Wis.) set the pace for the Blue Angels finishing 12th overall with a race time of 20:22. Barker set a very strong 6:34 pace per mile Saturday and has already stepped into a leadership role on an otherwise relatively inexperienced running crew.
Junior Shantae Chapman (Milwaukee, Wis.) finished 78th overall with a time of 23:15 in her first collegiate race. Also making their first ever Cross Country appearances were seniors Lauren VanKray (Mayville, Wis.) and Kala Sanders (Milwaukee, Wis.).
The event, hosted by St. Norbert College, was won by the Knights with a top-five finishers' score of 58. The College of St. Scholastica finished second with 79 points, while Ripon College came in third with 113 overall. Mount Mary's 296 total team points came in just a shade behind Cardinal Stritch University and a strong 60 points ahead of crosstown rival MSOE.
The Blue Angels will head down Highway 94 to the UW-Parkside Midwest Open in rural Racine, Wis. Saturday. Start time for the womens' competition is scheduled for 10 a.m.
Tom Barry Invitational
The Season Begins