The trees are changing colors meaning the ending of one season and the beginning of another. That is no different in the world of sports. The end is here for the Cobber women’s cross country team as they have already competed in one of their final meets of the season, MIAC championships.
Looking at the season compared to last year, the team remained consistent, finishing 7th overall. Which for head women’s coach Marvin Roeske, isn’t all that bad when looking at the meet as a whole.
“It’s just really balanced,” Roeske said. “It was the type of meet where maybe we could have finished a place higher. We also could have placed 6th or 11th. So I guess 7th isn’t bad. We could of easily run very well and finished 11th cause Gustavus that has beaten us ended up 11th.”
One of the top runners for the women’s team, sophomore Brianna Gruenberg, expected nothing less coming out of the MIAC championship meet.
“As a whole taking 7th place as a team was kind of where we were expecting to be,” Gruenberg said. “As a team, our goal was to try and get 6th place and try to beat one more team than we did last year, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.”
And according to Gruenberg, 7th as team isn’t that bad when you look into the individual accomplishments of the team as well seeing as for some of the runners it was their last race of the season and they wanted to finish on a strong note.
“I think that most of our team performed the way they had hoped with many people having season PR’s and a few people with lifetime PR’s,” Gruenberg said.
While the team and some individual members may not have performed to the standard that they had hoped, they have one more shot at competing this weekend at the Regional meet.
According to Roeske, the top seven runners for the team will be competing at the region meet, and he hopes that they can finish better than they did last year.
“Last year we finished 14th, but we could finished anywhere from 8th to 16th,” Roeske said. “I think this team has improved since last year…we may not have shown up at the conference meet cause we didn’t move up in place, but I feel like we are a better team.”
While they may be a better team this season, like every season there are those seniors near and dear to the team’s heart that end their career’s and graduate. This season the team is running without last year’s top runner Melissa Ulrich. For Roeske, adjusting to the losses, the team just moves along and keeps moving forward.
“I mean you always miss them, but like most teams you have good bunch of leaders to follow,” Roeske said. “So the new leaders have done a really good job. They’ve been a really good group to work with.”
What makes this group a little bit better than the last years? Maybe it’s the leadership. And maybe it’s just an array of new faces on the team.
“It’s been a good mix of freshman and a couple transfers with a couple returners,” Roeske said. “That makes it a little bit more competitive on the team.”
To work towards being that better team, there has been two weeks of preparation between the Conference and the Regional meet and for Gruenberg, she feels the team is well prepared.
“We are just trying to fine tune ourselves and stay healthy,” Gruenberg said. “This week is our taper week, where we get to drop down to lower mileage to help rest our bodies for the final race. I believe we are all ready to leave everything we can on the Carleton course and not hold anything back.”
The women’s cross country team will be giving it their all this upcoming Saturday, November 12 at Carleton. And for Gruenberg, she couldn’t be more excited.
“I hope that everyone can have a good last race of the season, so we can look back and say that we really did our very best,” Gruenberg said. “It is very rewarding to race well after putting in all of the hard work and long miles throughout the season. I hope we just go out, do our best, and most importantly enjoy it, because running is fun!”