PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – The UW-Platteville cross country teams hosted the third Gender Equity Invite on Saturday afternoon. UW-La Crosse, UW-Eau Claire, and a group of alumni joined the hosts in the new concept race that sees men and women racing against each other.
The men's 8 kilometer race started at 12:00pm while the women's 6 kilometer race started 2 minutes and 40 seconds later. The men began running a 2 kilometer loop before crossing the start line and continuing on with the women's 6 kilometer course. For the remainder of the race the men were giving chase to the women. At the 5 kilometer mark, the men started catching the women. The final 3 kilometers saw the men and women running together in a race to the finish.
Although a male crossed the finish first, the women were able to outperform the men as they took five of the top-7 places. Crossing the finish first was UW-Platteville alumni Nathan Petesch in 26:23.
UW-Platteville's Matthew Smith finished his collegiate cross country career with a bang. For the first time in his career, Smith was the top collegiate finisher at a cross country meet. Smith crossed the finish in 27:02.4 taking third place behind two standout UW-Platteville alumni. Smith helped UW-Platteville finish two points ahead of No. 4 nationally ranked UW-Eau Claire and 30 points ahead of No. 5 ranked UW-La Crosse.
Although the Gender Equity Meet didn't see any runners that will be competing at this weekend's Midwest Regional meet, it does shine a light into the bright future for the Pioneers.
Also finishing for the Pioneers were Logan Steinhoff (6th/27:14), Cole Shurbert-Hetzel (12th/27:32), Mitchell Frager (17th/28:02), Zach Klokow (20th/28:05), Adam Caruso (23rd/28:10), Timothy Pitcock (28th/28:43), Mason Geary (29th/28:44), Tanner Reinholtz (32nd/28:51), Timothy Knobloch (36th/29:05), Devin Johnson (38th/29:10), Evan Krug (41st/29:21), Nolan Wallenkamp (43rd/29:42), Lars Hay (44th/29:57), Alex Clark (45th/29:59), Brett Gillingham (46th/30:08), Cory Flood (48th/30:15), Andrew Smith (53rd/31:32), and Alex Wittmerhaus (56th/32:36).
Six Pioneers competed on the women's side; Mariah Brown (29th/28:13), Johanna Meister (32nd/28:44), Danielle Nelson (33rd/30:03), Haley Daniels (34th/30:35), Erin Heaster (35th/32:27), and Anna O'Hern (36th/32:47).
The Pioneers compete at the NCAA Midwest Regional hosted by UW-Oshkosh this Saturday.