The University of Dallas cross country teams competed in the TLU Bulldog Invitational this past Saturday, Sept. 15. Both the men’s and women’s teams ran a 5k race in the second meet of their respective seasons, the first 5k for the men and the second 5k for the women.
The Crusader squads finished second in both races behind host Texas Lutheran University. The Bulldogs’ margin of victory was exactly twelve points in both races, scoring 37 points to UD’s 49 point in the men’s race, and 30 to 42 in the women’s race. Concordia University also finished with 49 points in the men’s race.
“I’m elated [that we finished second in both races],” said UD Head Coach Matt Barber. “This week we start speed stuff. We’ve been doing tempo runs for about a month now and for them to gut out the way they did in the mud and rain– I’m very proud of them.”
Race conditions were not ideal for any of the athletes, as heavy rains soaked the ground and made the 3-mile race miserable for all competitors.
“[The wet] conditions totally changed the race,” said Barber. “All the work we’ve done so far has been aerobic in nature and fighting through rivers of water requires a lot of strength. There was a couple of spots where the water on the trails legitimately came all the way up to our shorter runners’ butts. There was almost no traction on the course.”
Despite the brutal conditions, the Crusaders placed athletes in the top five of both races. On the men’s team, sophomore Joseph Kilmer finished in second place with a time of 17:47.56, and junior John James finished in fifth place with a time 18:26.73. On the women’s side, freshmen Anna Wilgenbusch and Sabrina Lucio finished in third and fifth, respectively, with times of 21:09.56, and 22:07.52.
“If you look at the athletes John and Joe, Anna and Sabrina finished with from the other schools, we’re right where we want to be,” said Barber. “I know they all have a lot of improvement left in them this season.”
Dallas competes again next week on Saturday, September 22 in San Antonio at the OLLU Collegiate Cross Country Invitational. The race will be an 8k for the men and a 5k for the women.
“[OLLU will be] another opportunity to get the [men’s] team ready for our championship distance,” said Barber. “For both men and women we’d like a more dry race to finally start working on our ideal race approach for the end of the year.”