Cross Country: Badgers strive to build upon success this fall

Badgers look to returning talent to repeat, potentially out-do their 2018 season

· Sep 4, 2019 Tweet

Daniel Yun/The Badger Herald

The men’s team had an extremely successful season on the track, capturing both the Big Ten team and individual titles.

The newly-claimed title marks the second time in the last three years the University of Wisconsin has won both the regional and conference team titles.

Two-time Big Ten cross country champion senior Morgan McDonald finished his Wisconsin career by winning the individual national title to lead the Badgers at the Zimmer Championship Course. This national title came on the heels of his recent individual Big Ten title.

The Wisconsin men’s track and field team captured a third-place finish in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Men’s Program of the Year standings. This finish marks the highest Badger placement since 2012-2013.

Wisconsin was also one of just two Big Ten schools to be ranked within this national system. The USTFCCCA rankings are determined based on the results at the three NCAA Championship events throughout the year, clearly demonstrating a full season of success.

Furthermore, the Badgers won their 30th NCAA Great Lakes Regional title thanks to 5-6-7 finishes from Olin Hacker, Olli Hoare and McDonald and had five scorers who earned the NCAA Great Lakes All-Regional Honors by finishing in the top 25.

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Being identified as one of the nation’s best programs gives the Badgers an opportunity to grow and escalate their success to new levels. Despite the loss of their team’s top runner in McDonald, the Badgers will return their next two fastest runners — juniors Hacker and Ben Eidenschink.

The men’s team begins their 2019 campaign with the Badger Classic on Friday, Sept. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at their hometown Zimmer Championship Course.

The women’s team finished in a close third for the Big Ten team title but managed to also capture their own individual title with Alicia Monson taking first for the tournament.

A talented young group, the 2019 team will feature reigning Big Ten champion Alicia Monson — who will be entering her senior year — along with other notable runners and coaches.

Wisconsin-native Monson concluded her memorable junior season with a fourth-place finish in the 6K at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in November with a time of 19:55.2 at the Zimmer Championship Course.

Monson was also crowned the Region Individual winner after sprinting to first place in the 6K with a time of 20:13.4 at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional meet in November. She won the individual title in the 6K at the Big Ten Conference Championship in October with a time of 19:49.3 and won the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational last September by setting a course record in the 6K at the Zimmer Championship Course with a time of 19:33.3. Lastly, she won the Badger Classic last September in the 6K with a time of 21:07.1.

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The women were also the top-ranked Big Ten team, as the Badgers finished 14th in the National Rankings. Bolstering this already-highly-ranked team will be returning junior Amy Davis and returning sophomore Lucinda Crouch. These two runners finished second and third for the Badgers in the Big Ten championships.

Mackenzie Wartenberger will be joining the Badgers as the head coach of the women’s team for this upcoming season after spending the last four years as the women’s cross-country coach and assistant track and field coach for the University of Utah.

Wartenberger led Utah to the NCAA cross country championship for the first time in school history in 2015 and replicated the season in 2016.

Wartenberger gave praise to the Badgers’ cross country program for its success through the years in an interview with UW Communications.

“There is an amazing tradition of excellence in Madison, and I am looking forward to continuing to build on the foundations laid by coach Jill Miller, and all the Badgers who have helped shaped this national caliber program,” Wartenberger said.

The women’s team will begin their season with the Badger Classic on Friday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. at the Zimmer Championship Course. Look for a strong showing from returning talent, especially that of returning Big Ten individual champion Monson.


This article was published Sep 4, 2019 at 8:45 am and last updated Sep 3, 2019 at 6:10 pm


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