By Daniel Appel

The University of Northwestern men’s cross country season is nearing their season’s finish line. The beginning of the Eagle’s season was marked by some stand-out performances by individual runners, but came up short in overall team place in several of the meets.

However, the team has kept a positive attitude towards the beginning of their season.

“We really came together as a team in the beginning of the season and because of it we had a lot of improvements that could be seen individually,” said junior captain Isaac Siekawitch.

“Each guy stepped up and went hard, pushing each other in the process. Although some guys’ times didn’t improve they were back running with other teammates to give them the strength to run faster than they had before.”

Turning a corner in their season, the Eagle runners posted their best team effort yet, running split-squad on Oct. 18. The Eagle’s top 4 individual runners competed at University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh meet while the remaining team members competed at the Crown St. Bonifacious Invitational.

In Oshkosh, three of four posted career best times. With Wil Maki improving his time by 16 seconds to end with a time of 28:22, Jackson Peterson clocked in 35 seconds lower than his best time to turn in a time of 28:42, Steve Baridon broke his personal record by 16 seconds with a time of 28:50 and Kyle Granger with a time of 30:11.

Coach Steve Thiessen was ready for his runners to pass up their previous performances on this course. “At this time of the season I anticipated that the guys would see a 15-30 second improvement in race time and possibly even as much as 60 seconds on the flat and fast Winneconne golf course.”

After both of these races coach Thiessen said, “These are the kind of times we have been training for as we enter the championship phase of the season. This is the time of year when we cash in on all the mileage logged over the last 10 weeks, and see the dividends of the weekly tempo and interval runs.”

“Everyone on the team has been giving a great effort,” said Siekawitch. The Eagles will look to bond together and make their hard work pay off for them in as they look ahead to the vital UMAC meet on Nov. 1 in Duluth, Minn.

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