Cross country ends season at National Championships

SVSU sent sophomore Carlee Stimpfel and their women’s team to compete at the Division II NCAA National Meet.

Evelyn Kammeyer, the co-assistant coach of cross country/track and field was pleased with the teams performance.

“The women’s team came in ranked 15th, so anytime we can outperform our ranking it’s a good day,’ said Kammeyer. “We have all of these women returning next year and will also add a few more to the pot, so we’re very optimistic that we can continue the upward trend that we’re on.”

For the 6k race senior Arianna Wegienka led the Cardinals in 57th place with a time of 21:42.6.

Following behind her was sophomore Alexa Keiser who finished in 73rd with 21:53.0 while freshman Maddie Isola ended up in 108th with 22:19.1.

Rounding out the race for SVSU was senior Lauren Buckner in 143rd with 22:43.0, and finally sophomore Jenna Picard in 163rd place with 22:57.2.

Sophomore Emma Banning, freshman Kailee Sandoval and freshman Kristen Brylowski also traveled with the team as alternates.

Kammeyer said every course in cross country is different and must be trained for.

“Times in cross country really only mean so much, as each course is wildly different,” Kammeyer said. “The course in St. Leo was hillier than anything we’ve been on all year, but we had the Nationals

course in mind when we designed the training this fall.”

Kammeyer also praised the work of coach Winter.

“Working with Coach Winter and his staff has been absolutely crucial to our ability to train for a course like that, and we can’t possibly thank them enough,” said Kammeyer. “I feel comfortable in saying that a lot of these women had their best race of the season. Maddie, Arianna, Alexa, and Emma were all very close to the personal best marks they set two weeks ago on a flatter course in perfect weather conditions, which tells me they likely had the best race of their season on Saturday.”

CarLee Stimpfel took third in the men’s 10k race with 30:09.0 and was awarded his third All-American honor of his career.

“CarLee had quite possibly the best race he could have put together,” said Kammeyer. “The course, the weather, and the way those guys went out in front of him were absolutely relentless. CarLee finished 3rd because he was patient, smart, and gritty. He is used to racing with Isaac and Tanner from Grand Valley, and he knows they’re people he can run well with.”

Kammeyer said this week was a high point for the cross country program.

“But it [this week] certainly is not the ultimate peak. To have the highest men’s individual finish in program history with CarLee paired with the highest women’s team finish at 14th says a lot about the trajectory of this program, and the staff could not be more proud of this team and the things they were able to achieve this year.”

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