Cross Country Blog: Sarah Ball - Sept. 13, 2011

Sarah Ball led the MU women with a 15th-place finish in 18:54.6.

Sept. 13, 2011

Cross Country Blog

by sophomore women's distance runner Sarah Ball:

This is the second in a series of blogs by the Marquette University men's and women's cross country teams chronicling the 2011 season. This week catches up with women's sophomore Sarah Ball, Marquette's top female finisher at the Badger Opener on Friday, Sept. 9.

This weekend our men’s and women’s cross country team competed at the Wisconsin Badger Opener in Verona, Wis. Once again the women ran a 5k, while the men stepped up to a 6k. The meet was low key with two other teams competing, but it was a good sharpener and confidence booster. Last week some of us were affected by the heat and didn’t have the races we had hoped for, but this week’s race was much better.

The weather was more suitable for racing which showed in our performances. The course was also more enjoyable and is one of my favorites. It is very spectator friendly with a nice wide start, several hills and a long uphill finish.

The women got things rolling by placing second and scoring 50 points. It was a great team performance; our top seven girls took places 15 through 21.

Off the line, we were more relaxed and paced ourselves better than last week. We had some brilliant pack running which helped us work together during the race. Myself, Kenzie Vicker, and Hannah Frett ran together most of the race, followed by a pack consisting of Christina Sliepka, Elisia Meyle, Rebecca Pachuta, and Carly Windt. Carly had a good race; she has a hip injury so it’s good to have her back racing with the team.

Senior Alyssa Stevens ran well for never competing in cross country before, it was her second race and she is learning and improving with each one. Overall, we had a solid performance and next week we will be looking to improve even more.

On the men’s side we had another great performance, placing first with 26 points. Blake Johnson led the team with his second-place finish, followed closely by Peter Bolgert in third. The men ran a good strategic race, and there was nice pack running from Spencer Agnew, Connor Callahan, and Patrick Maag who finished in the top five.

Next week the team will compete at the National Catholic Championship in Notre Dame, Ind. The goal will be to have a good week of training and to stay healthy, so we can improve on our team performances from last year.

- Sarah Ball




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