On Saturday, Nov. 4, Western’s cross country team participated in their first NCAA Regional meet in Kearney, Nebraska where the women finished 14th and the men finished 24th.
Kaitlyn Shoemaker, Kelsey Cox, Allison Goos, Megan Gillen, Claire Reedy, Alex Bautitsa, Christopher Dunn and Brock Myscofski either beat or made personal records at the event.
Sophomore Christian Arbuthnot is a transfer student from Saint Gregory University who tied with his previous personal record.
“The meet went okay for what we had. we had a lot of injuries this year,” Arbuthnot said, “We were really short handed, and have a lot of kids who can’t run right now, but as our first regional meet, I think it was pretty good.”
Arbuthnot also felt as though the team could have done better even though it was the team’s first 10k.
“It was all our first 10k, so, we obviously didn’t have a lot of experience with that and I think if we all knew how to run it we would have done a lot better,” Arbuthnot said, “Next time just being more experienced, we’ll be better off.”
Freshman Alison Goos weighed in on what she thought about the first regional meet in Western’s cross country history.
“I thought we did amazing. I think almost all of us got personal records, three of us haven’t broken 24 minutes yet, and Kaitlyn broke 22,” Goos says, “We were all really happy.”
The men ran their first 10k while the women ran a 6k. Many of the men’s runners were still absent from the meet. However on the women’s side, Goos came back from a sprained ankle.
Head coach Marc Bierbaum was pleased with his team’s effort.
“We ran well, and we got nine personal records out of the 15. Kaitlyn got 13th and the girls ran really well,” Bierbaum said, “We beat three conference schools that beat us at the conference meet, so that was a good finish. The attitude and the kids’ mentality for the whole weekend was great. I thought we had a great outlook on it and it showed.”
Bierbaum also commented on one of Arbuthnot’s quotes about disappointment in the race.
“Christian is being hard on himself. He could run better but he just did his first 10k ever, and I think he’s being a little hard on himself for that,” Bierbaum said.
Western’s cross country season has one last obstacle to face since junior Kaitlyn Shoemaker has possibly made it into Nationals individually on a wildcard bid. Bierbaum is hoping she makes it.
“It’s going to be super close. I won’t be surprised if she did and I won’t be surprised if she didn’t. It’s a 50/50 deal here on whether she did or not,” Bierbaum said, “If she did we will be going to nationals here in two weeks, and if she didn’t we’ll change gears to track.”
After this cross country season, Western’s cross country team and coaches will be focusing on track and field, which they are already beginning to train for. Their first race is December 9th.