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Walpole leads UWS to repeat UMAC men’s cross country title

The University of Wisconsin-Superior men’s cross country team won its second straight Upper Midwest Athletic Conference championship Saturday in Benson, Minn. (Photo Courtesy of UW-Superior)1 / 2
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Led by senior Evan Walpole, the University of Wisconsin-Superior men’s cross country team raced to its second straight Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships Saturday in Benson, Minn.

Walpole, a former Superior Spartan standout, became the Yellowjackets’ straight individual champ by covering 8 kilometers in 26 minutes, 10 seconds, 7.2 seconds faster than the second-place finisher, Martin Luther’s Ben Bitter, and 9.5 seconds better than third-place Isaac Boedigheimer, who helped St. Scholastica to a third-place showing.

As a team, UWS finished with 40 points, 16 points better than Martin Luther College. St. Scholastica was third with 60 points.

The Yellowjackets’ success also came thanks to solid performances from Rand Bieri and Sam Smith, who finished sixth and eighth, respectively.

The Yellowjackets also took 13-14-15 with Alex Binfet, Harrison Hirsch and Zachary Mazurek ran within nine seconds of one another.

Binfet and Hirsch were separated by hundredths of a second clocking times of 27:29.3, while Mazurek ran 27:38.7.

In the women’s event, St. Scholastica won its third straight championship.

The Saints were led by senior Casey Hovland, who became the second female in UMAC history to win three or more consecutive cross country titles. Her time of 21:52 was nearly two minutes faster than the next finisher. 

The Saints as a team finished with 25 points with all five scoring runners placing in the top eight.

UWS finished third behind the runner-up performance of junior Kelli Praska, who earned her second career second-place at the UMAC meet with a time of 23:44.8.

Alaina Manthey was 13th and Mathea Brink was 15th to help lead the Yellowjacket charge.

Up next for UWS is the NCAA Central Region Championships Nov. 11 at Northfield, Minn.

UMAC Cross Country Championships

Men’s Team Scores

1. UW-Superior 40

2. Martin Luther 56

3. St. Scholastica 60

4. Minnesota Morris 77

5. Bethany Lutheran 153

6. North Central 169

7. Northland 205

8. Crown 226

9. Northwestern dnf

Women’s Team Scores

1. St. Scholastica 25

2. Minnesota Morris 74

3. UW-Superior 93

4. Martin Luther 105

5. Bethany Lutheran 127

6. Crown 168

7. Northwestern 180

8. Northland 192

9. North Central 251

2017 UMAC Men’s Cross Country All-Conference

First Team

1 Evan Walpole....................... UW-Superior                   26:10.0           Sr.

2 Ben Bitter......................... Martin Luther               26:17.2         So.

3 Isaac Boedigheimer............ St. Scholastica            26:19.5          Fr.

4 Ryan Gurgel...................... Martin Luther               26:30.2         So.

5 Easton Foss..................... St. Scholastica            26:35.3          Jr.

6 Rand Bieri........................... UW-Superior                   26:43.2           Jr.

7 Justin Wilkens................... Martin Luther               27:12.6          Sr.

Second Team

8 Sam Smith.......................... UW-Superior                   27:17.2           Fr.

9 Jackson Peterson.............. Northwestern               27:19.4          Sr.

10 David Roanhorse............. Minn. Morris                27:20.9          Jr.

11 Cam Pearson.................. St. Scholastica            27:22.3         So.

12 Raymond Abraham........... Minnesota Morris         27:25.3         So.

13 Alex Binfet......................... UW-Superior                   27:29.3           Fr.

14 Harrison Hirsch................... UW-Superior                   27:29.3          So.

15 Zachary Mazurek.................. UW-Superior                   27:38.7           Jr.

Sportsmanship Awards

Team Award -- Martin Luther

Bethany Lutheran.......... Stefan Prince            So.      Prior Lake, Minn.

Crown......................... Michael Elmhorst       Sr.      Paynesville, Minn.

Martin Luther................ Justin Wilkens           Sr.      Haymarket, Va.

Minnesota Morris.......... Ray Abraham            So.      Cambridge, Minn.

North Central............... Kaleb Gunderson        Jr.      Apple Valley

Northland..................... Andy Kasun              Sr.      Delafield, Wis.

Northwestern............... Dillon Clark               Sr.      Plainview, Minn.

St. Scholastica............. Easton Foss              Jr.      Pine City, Minn.

UW-Superior.................. Aaron Gehrke              Fr.      Phillips, Wis.

2017 UMAC Women’s Cross Country All-Conference

First Team

  1. Casey Hovland................. St. Scholastica 21:52.0 Sr.
  2. Kelli Praska......................... UW-Superior 23:44.8 Jr.
  3. Nicole Gilman................... St. Scholastica 23:55.6 So.
  4. Mackenzie Nelson............. Crown 24:08.1 So.
  5. Katherine Novak............... Minnesota Morris 24:25.1 Jr.
  6. Elizabeth Poskie............... St. Scholastica 24:35.9 So.
  7. Lauren Dynek................... St. Scholastica 24:49.8 Fr.

Second Team

  1. Katelynn Gullickson........... St. Scholastica 24:52.1 So.
  2. Sarah Presler................... Bethany Lutheran 24:53.5 Fry.
  3. Elisabeth Anderson.......... Minnesota Morris 25:00.7 Sr.
  4. Brynn Gellner.................. Minnesota Morris 25:06.7 Sr.
  5. Leah Miller..................... Martin Luther 25:09.9 Fr.
  6. Alaina Manthey................... UW-Superior 25:11.5 Jr.
  7. Heidi Carlson.................. St. Scholastica 25:11.8 Sr.

15 Mathea Brink...................... UW-Superior                   25:15.5          So.

Sportsmanship Awards

Team Award -- Bethany Lutheran

Bethany Lutheran.......... Anna Lieske              Jr.      Mankato, Minn.

Crown......................... Hannah Myers           Sr.      Remer, Minn.

Martin Luther................ Sydney Cody             Jr.      Juneau, Wis.

Minnesota Morris.......... Arre Langer               Jr.      Pierz, Minn.

North Central............... Taylor Novak             Jr.      Minot, N.D.

Northland..................... Sarah Jorgensen       So.      Mequon, Wis.

Northwestern............... McKenzie Olson        So.      Monticello, Minn.

St. Scholastica............. Casey Hovland          Sr.      North Branch

UW-Superior    Taylor Joyal         Jr.           Saginaw, Mich.

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