At Saturday’s Lucian Rosa Invitational, located at the University of Washington–Parkside campus in Kenosha, WI, the men’s side of the squad finished a strong sixth. Despite bringing only three racers, the women showed out as well, with first-year Taylor Campos placing 32nd out of 172 participants.
Second-year Ansel Richards anchored the men’s team with his time of 27:32.8, good enough for 40th place. The men’s race, which was an 8K, had 178 runners competing. His fellow Maroons, third-years Kirk Lancaster and Michael Stubna and fourth-year Corey Okinaka, weren’t far behind him, finishing 48th through 50th with times of 27:38.1, 27:40.1, and 27:41.0, respectively.
These student-athletes were proud of their team’s accomplishments, despite lacking some of their best runners. The runners with the top nine times for the men’s team this year didn’t participate in the meet. Regardless, Lancaster had high praise for his team.
“We were really excited to place sixth this weekend despite missing our top nine runners on the men’s side. It really goes to show the impressive depth of our team. I felt great out on the course, [and] we had excellent conditions,” Lancaster said. The squad will head to another UW school this weekend for their next meet. “Oshkosh is a course I ran on a lot in high school, so I’m pretty familiar with it. It will be fast, and we’ll be facing some of the toughest competition of the season so far. But I can’t wait to see what we’ll be able to accomplish.”
Second-years Owen Melia and John Judge placed 52th and 59th, respectively, while first-year Cameron Dignan earned points for the squad with an 86th place finish. Together, the team gained 165 points, ranking behind Wheaton, Carthage, UW–Green Bay, UW–Parkside, and the leading University of Illinois at Chicago, which had 280 points.
First-years Taylor Campos, Sydney Smith, and Shelby Smith represented the Maroons for the women’s side of the team. Campos had a time of 24:08.1, good enough for a pace of six minutes and 28 seconds per mile for the race, which was a 6K.
“This meet was a great opportunity to finally race again after getting over a stress fracture in my right fibula,” Campos said. “I’m so excited to be able to run with the whole team next week—we are looking really strong, and I’m so happy I can start contributing to their ongoing success.”
A hand-picked team of 12 men and 12 women will be at next week’s meet at UW–Oshkosh. First-year Sydney Smith says this last meet helped her out a great deal in preparing for next week’s competition.
“I really think the Lucian Invitational is going to prepare me well for Oshkosh next week because I was able to experience a 6K for the first [time] this season, as well as a hillier course far different from what I am used to running on back home,” Smith explained. “I was also able to get a greater sense of competition this race, which really helped me push myself. As I look towards next week, I know my team and I are very excited to compete with even greater competition on a wonderful course.”
The Maroons look to improve their national rankings at this next meet, which is scheduled for Saturday at 10:30 a.m., as the men are ranked 31st with 34 points and the women are ranked 20th with 122 points. The meet is especially important for the men, as the next ranked team under them, Gustavus Adolphus, is only two points away.