Cross Country Takes Fifth, Places Three on All-BIG EAST Squad
Oct. 28, 2016
BRONX, N.Y. – The Marquette University men’s and women’s cross country teams each placed fifth at the BIG EAST Championships at Van Cortlandt Park on Friday morning. Senior Brittney Feivor (17th), junior Jennifer Parker (20th) and junior Alec Miller (18th) combined to give the Golden Eagles three All-League performers in a field that included a great collection of elite talent.
“We competed well and our student-athletes really performed well,” Marquette head coach Mike Nelson said. “As a collective group, that was our best race of the season. We were pumped up going in to the race and they executed their race plans that we had talked about. They represented Marquette really well.”
The Marquette men equaled their highest-ever finish at the BIG EAST Championships from last year with a fifth place team finish, while the women moved up a spot after taking sixth last season.
“The number of elite distance runners in this conference is very high,” Nelson said. “To put two women and Alec in the top 20 is not an easy task. It’s a testament to their work ethic and their attitude, but it’s also a testament to their poise during the race. They go out and they race with confidence and they’re fearless out there and that helps them as they race against elite competition.”
For the women, it was the first time since 2005 that multiple Golden Eagles earned All-BIG EAST status as Feivor took 17th overall with a time of 21:57.8 and Jen. Parker, who moved up three places from the halfway point, taking 20th with a time of 22:04.9.
“The women really moved up the second half of the race,” Nelson said. “It was a tight team battle and in the second half with each girl seemingly moving up a few spots, and that was really key. It was great to see them pretty close together and see them working as a pack. For each of them to be able to move up throughout the race and be able to execute the race plan like we discussed, it was great to see.”
Junior Jessica Parker had one of if not her best race of the season to take third on the team and 30th overall with a time of 22:37.5. Injuries have played a role for the women this year with three of their seven starters having missed the season opener back on Sept. 10.
“We’ve had a lot of ladies return from setbacks this season,” Nelson said. “Several, including Jessica, Clare McDonald and Nora Keller, started the season with some sort of injury and to see them come back and compete the way that they have, we owe a lot of credit to our sports medicine and conditioning staffs that have helped them progress. To see them accomplish what they did today says a lot about their how hard they worked.”
McDonald (37th; 23:04.3) and Keller (46th; 23:26.7) finished fifth and sixth, respectively, on the team right behind Meghan Carroll, who took 36th place with a time of 23:02.1. Taking seventh on the squad was Mary Hanson, who placed 49th overall with a time of 23:33.3.
For the men, Alec Miller improved his finish by 10 spots from a year ago to take 18th place overall in a time of 25:21.4.
“To move up 10 spots in the BIG EAST is not easy from one year to the next., especially with the concentration of talent that is in the BIG EAST Conference,” Nelson said. “For Alec, he set his goals to finish in the top 20 and executed. At the 5K mark, he was about 22nd. We talked about being in that area at that point and then moving up in the last 2 miles and kicking at the end and he did that. He put himself in the mix from the get-go and that was really great to see.”
Freshman Daniel Pederson, who led the Golden Eagles in their finale BIG EAST tune-up a couple weeks ago and has come on very strong throughout his debut season at MU, took 25th with a time of 25:40.3.
“What more can you say about Daniel,” Nelson said. “Being from a small town (Spooner) in Northern Wisconsin and to come to NYC and compete with some of the most elite runners in the country, we’re lucky to have him. There’s a fearlessness about him. He goes out there and lays it all on the line and that’s really fun to coach.”
Finishing third on the team and an impressive 31st place was senior Jack Carpenter, who finished with a time of 26:03.2.
“This was Jack Carpenter’s best race since the 2014 NCAA Regional,” Nelson said. “He’s also been one that has had to deal with some injuries and illnesses and it’s really satisfying to see all his hard work pay off in a big way.”
A pair of sophomores finished fourth and fifth for the Golden Eagles as Brad Eagan (26:04.5) and Jon Klaiber (26:23.5) took 32nd and 41st, respectively. Rounding out the top-seven was redshirt freshman Ryan Burd, who placed 45th with a time of 26:25.7, and Aric Miller, who took 49th with a time of 26:31.6.
The season continues for at least one more meet as both the men and women will stay close to home for the NCAA Great Lakes Regional meet, set to take place at UW-Madison on Friday, Nov. 11.
Women’s Individual Leaders
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