Cross Country teams primed for WIAC Championships

Cross Country teams primed for WIAC Championships

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. -- The University of Wisconsin-Platteville men's and women's cross country teams will compete at 2014 WIAC Cross Country Championships Saturday, Nov. 1 at Ettrick Golf Course in Ettrick, Wis. The men's 8-kilometer race will begin at noon, while the women's 6-kilometer race will get underway at 1 p.m. 

On the men's side, seniors Sam Poser and Joel Walden will be looked upon to lead the Pioneers as both finished in the top 12 last year. Poser earned first team all-WIAC after his third-place performance last fall, and Walden finished in 12th. 

Sophomore Ian LaMere has been the Pioneers' top performer this season, after missing last season due to an injury. He has been named WIAC Runner of the Week twice this season. His best performance of the year was at the Blugold Invitational last month, where he ran a personal best time of 24:44. As a freshman LaMere was a national qualifier and earned all-WIAC honors. 

Senior Matt Smaga will be looking to improve his 20th-place finish from last year's conference meet. Senior Garret Wernecke, juniors Nick Wagner and Matt Wubben and sophomore Cole Shurbert-Hetzel round out the rest of the Pioneers returning from last fall's WIAC Championships. 

Junior Kiera Depies is looking for a similar performance to the one she had at last year's WIAC Championship where she finished in 13th-place for her second-straight second team all-WIAC honor. 

Sophomore Chelsey Heiden will be looking to improve her 24th-place finish from last year's meet. The Pioneers have four other runners that competed in the 2013 conference meet, including Andrea Knutson, Teagan Seneczko, Ashlynne Wampfler and Allison Wells at will be running on Saturday.  

All nine WIAC teams will return to action on Nov. 16, and participate in the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional at Lake Breeze Golf Course in Winneconne, Wis..  The regional event will be hosted by UW-Oshksoh.