Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Cross country teams ready for new course

by Sam Zastrow

Coming off a couple of early season races, the men’s and women’s cross country teams are now preparing for one of the most notable cross country events the state has ever seen.

The first ever Wisconsin Adidas Invitational this Saturday also is the opening of the brand new Thomas Zimmer Championship Course. The new course has everyone in the cross country community pumped for the meet, including men’s and women’s coaches Mick Byrne and Jim Stintzi.


“We’re really excited about getting out there this Saturday and hosting what we believe is a great meet,” Byrne said. “I think in general the people of Wisconsin and the people of Madison are really looking forward to this.”

“It’s been a four-and-a-half year project, so we’ve been excited about it for a long time,” Stinzi said.

The Thomas Zimmer Championship Course

The new course, located at University Ridge Golf Club, is regarded as one of the best courses in the nation.

“I can pretty much guarantee that the teams that come out here this weekend have never seen anything like this,” Stinzi said.

“This is as close as you are going to get to what teams expect when it comes to a championship course,” Byrne said.

The coaches also briefly compared the new course to another premier course the Badgers compete at annually, the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind. They find this course to be a bit too difficult and hilly and believe the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course is more fair.

“It’s kind of a medium course. It’s not a super hard course, but it’s not easy though either,” Stinzi said.

Byrne and Stintzi also discussed the problems and headaches involved with having a meet on a brand new course.

“To be quite honest with you, we are a little bit nervous, a little bit apprehensive about it, but we think we’ve worked everything through.” Byrne said.

Tough Competition

The No. 4 men’s team will be squaring off against several elite teams. The competition includes perennial national powerhouse Arkansas as well as conference rivals Iowa, Illinois and Michigan.

The No. 21 women’s team faces elite squads from a variety of conferences, including Texas A&M, Duke, Auburn, Illinois and Michigan.

“We’re real happy with the teams that have committed to coming,” Byrne said.

Public Reception

The Madison community appears to be genuinely excited for the new course’s first meet this Saturday.

“Here in Madison, I think the public out there has been waiting for a big college meet like this,” Byrne said. “I think they’re excited.”

The coaches are optimistic about the turnout this weekend. Several high school cross country programs are expected to attend the event along with other fans.

“We’re expecting a huge crowd and everyone is excited about that,” Byrne said. “We have 20 shuttle buses set up that are going to be rotating to the course from Verona High School.”

Byrne also made it clear Saturday’s meet was generating interest far beyond the city of Madison.

“We know that there is a huge interest in this meet locally, in the state and in the surrounding states,” Byrne said.

When asked about an expected attendance, Byrne maintained that he couldn’t be positive, but was optimistic nonetheless.

“I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that we might have five, six, seven, eight thousand people out there,” Byrne said.

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