The University of Wisconsin men’s and women’s cross country teams enjoyed successful finishes to Friday’s Nuttycombe Invitational.

The event took place at the Thomas Zimmer Cross Country Course in Madison.

As a team, the men finished No. 2 in the 8k meet while the women placed No. 6 in their 5k race. But individually, Morgan McDonald won the title for the men’s team while Alicia Monson took first for the women’s side.

In the men’s 8k, the top five places rounded out with Northern Arizona coming in first with 46 points followed by Wisconsin at 135, Portland at 140, Iowa State at 152 and Boise State at 160. For those that are unfamiliar with cross country, scoring points are assigned based on the finishing places of a team’s top five runners meaning a lower score is better.

Though McDonald and the Badgers won the race individually, Northern Arizona still dominated the contest. McDonald was the only Badger to finish within the top ten while Northern Arizona had four runners finish with such marks. Tyler Day finished third, Luis Grijalva fifth, Peter Lomong seventh and Blaise Ferro eighth. Their fifth runner Geordie Beamish still finished impressively at No. 23 in the race.

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Led by McDonald’s astonishing 23 minute 17 second and six millisecond time the Badgers finished with an impressive day overall. McDonald won first, barely edging out Iowa State’s Edwin Kurgat by nine milliseconds. But the rest of the team also held their own with Oliver Hoare placing No. 13, Olin Hacker No. 17, Ben Eidenschink No. 31 and Tyson Miehe No. 73.

After the race, Mcdonald had a conversation with UW Athletics about the victory and keeping ahead of the group from Northern Arizona.

“I was just trying to stay relaxed for as long as possible,” McDonald said. “I knew those NAU boys were good, so I was just trying to stick with them and wait for the kick at the end. I felt like someone else was going to make the move earlier, but I felt really good running up that last hill, so I just went for it, and it worked out pretty well.”

This success comes as no giant surprise though as the men’s team was ranked No. 9 in the nation coming into the meet. This is the men’s best performance since the Nuttycombe Invitational began back in 2016 with the team improving on their No. 25 finish last season.

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The women’s team has also never finished higher than this year’s No. 6 mark in their 5k. Before the race, the Badgers were pinned as the No. 9 team in the country.

The results concluded with Colorado at 80 points, Boise State at 91, New Mexico at 130, Villanova at 156 and Wisconsin 192.

Monson’s first-place finish came several seconds ahead of the favorites from New Mexico-All-American Weini Kelati and reigning NCAA champion Ednah Kurgat. Rounding out the rest of the Badger’s top five were Amy Davis at No. 25, Shaelyn Sorensen at No. 27, Alissa Niggemann at No. 69 and Lucinda Crouch at No. 70.

In her conversation with UW Athletics Monson was admittedly surprised by the upset finish but was content she accomplished the feat on her home course.

“I wasn’t quite expecting it but I knew to just stay patient and stick with some of the best girls out there,” Monson said. “It feels pretty great to be out on the home course and seeing everyone from my team do so well. It was just an amazing day.”

Wisconsin will look to continue this momentum into their Big Ten and NCAA Championship endeavors in the coming weeks. Both the men’s and women’s next challenge will be Pre-Nationals at the Zimmer Championship Course next Saturday.