Oct. 3, 2009


Courtesy of Wisconsin

The No. 4-ranked Wisconsin men’s cross country team helped christen the new Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course with a third-place finish Saturday in the inaugural Wisconsin adidas Invitational.

The Badgers scored 94 points in the 8-kilometer race. Unranked Syracuse claimed the team title with 41 points, followed by No. 10 Georgetown with 60 points.

“I saw some real positive stuff out there today,” UW head coach Mick Byrne said. “As a coach, you just have to look at the positives and take positives as you go into the rest of October. We’ve always said that we’re a championship team. We still walked out with third and now we have to take it how it is and build off it.”

Redshirt freshman Maverick Darling was the first UW runner to cross the finish line, taking sixth place in a time of 24:02.8. This race marks that first time that Darling has been the top finisher for the UW.

“I was surprised I finished in the top 10,” Darling said. “I didn’t know how things were going to work out competition wise. I was pretty happy with how the race felt. I felt really good through 6k, and then 6k kind of hit me a little bit, but it went well.”

Sophomore Elliot Krause was the next to cross the finish line for the Badgers, finishing in 13th place with a time of 24:13.6. Junior Landon Peacock finished soon after in a time 24:27.1 to claim 18th place.

Junior Noel Bateman and sophomore Phil Thomas were the final two runners to score for the UW, taking 27th and 34th, respectively, in times of 24:41.1 and 24:47.7.

Seniors Ryan Gasper and Craig Miller also ran for the Badgers. Gasper finished in a time of 24:50.8 to claim 36th place and was followed by Miller, who took 39th place in a time of 24:53.0.

The Badgers also ran several freshmen as unattached competitors. Leading the charge was Reed Connor, who finished in 16th place in a time of 24:23.8. Also, Andrew Shields finished in 49th place in a time of 25:04.9, Michael Brice finished in 65th place in a time of 25:20.3.

“We got what we wanted out of this race,” Byrne said. “We’ve got a number of young kids that are ready to go, and I’m excited for what’s to come.”

As for the course, despite the slight drizzle, the debut of the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course was widely considered to be a success.

“Just look at it, this is fantastic," Byrne said. "It’s a great day for Wisconsin and a great day for Wisconsin cross country.

"I mean this is just fun. It’s the way cross country should be.”

The UW will take a two week break from competition in preparation for the Jim Drews Invitational on Oct. 17, a meet hosted by UW-La Crosse.