CC 2011: Defending Champions Still Running Hard
here to listen to the entire 2011 season preview podcast with
cross country head coach Russ DeLap.
MEQUON, Wis. - The Concordia University Wisconsin men's and women's cross country teams enter the 2011 season as defending Northern Athletics Conference Champions. The pressure is always going to be high for a defending champion, but head coach Russ DeLap takes it all in stride. He sees both rosters with tremendous upside, and even more, with the chance of possibly being the best Falcon teams ever.
After becoming the first school in NAC history to capture both the men's and women's titles in the same season, CUW is training even harder to take full advantage of its running abilities. With rosters that have grown significantly - 45 runners total - DeLap always wants to win the conference and advance to the NCAA Regionals, but his philosophy is to maximize his runners' abilities and the results will take care of themselves.
"No matter how good a CUW runner is; whether they win a meet, are named NAC Runner of the Year, selected as an All-American, or finish in last, they all bust their butt," said DeLap. "You are going to see runners who are giving their best effort every day on the race course. I have never seen anyone, up to this point in my coaching career at CUW, ever skip a workout. They all love running, are great kids and students. They love running and just try hard every time."
The Falcon men will be led by senior Andrew Braun (Oconomowoc, Wis.) who was a NAC All-Conference honoree a year ago. As well, junior Kevin Gries (Cleveland, Wis.), senior Danny Fecht (Amherst, Wis.), and junior Thomas Helgren (Madison, Wis.) return as NAC Honorable All-Conference runners looking to win another title.
On the women's side, NAC Freshman of the Year and First Team All-Conference honoree Maxine Blohowiak (junior, Green Bay, Wis.) returns to the Falcon lineup. Also, First Team NAC All-Conference runner Bethany Doerr (junior, Chilton, Wis.), along with sophomore Jamie Schuh (Freedom, Wis.), Caitlyn Stern (Mequon, Wis.), and Jade Senger (Billings, Mont.) - NAC Honorable All-Conference honorees - return to defend their title.
The highlight of the CUW cross country schedule is the Falcon Invite on Sept. 17. The race begins at 11 a.m. on campus and will feature a total of 16 teams. Last year, Ben Pape led the Falcons with a time of 27:39.5, while Gries placed first in the women's field with a time of 23:10.0.