Coop, Schlitz lead Cross Country to strong finish at Falcon Invitational

MEQUON, Wis. – Concordia University Wisconsin finished strong in a deep and talented 21st Annual Falcon Invitational on Saturday afternoon on its campus. The Falcon women finished in fifth place and the men's team took sixth place.

There were a record number of teams and runners, and for the seventh straight year the course had to be redesigned because of construction on campus. The new course allowed runners to funnel evenly during the first mile and the beautiful weather allowed for a large amount of spectators.

The annual event hosts some of the top teams in the region and this year was no different having two NCAA Division I teams, one NCAA Division II team, a NAIA program and several community college teams, along with many NCAA Division III programs.

Running her first collegiate race, CUW's Larissa Schlitz (freshman, DeForest, Wis.) finished in 26th place among all runners in the 6K event after running 24:48.7 and 19th in the NCAA Division III standings. Her teammate Samantha Nelson (sophomore, Ypsilanti, Mich.) finished one place behind her after crossing the line in 24:50.0. Several of the Falcons female runners were faster - around a minute - than what they had in last year's race.

On the men's side, sophomore Andrew Coop (Mora, Minn.) led all Falcons with a 16th place finish overall in the 8K race with a time of 27:09.1 (personal record) among all runners and a 13th place finish in the NCAA Division III standings.

Overall, the men's and women's teams fared well considering the injuries runners are recovering from and those who didn't run.

"There is optimism that when we are at full strength we will as a team do much better," head coach Russ DeLap said. "The end of the season is when running well counts and the training design has been progressive, and not aggressive early season. There were some excellent performances on both teams and I am excited to see everybody get faster as the season progresses."

CUW returns to action on Friday at the Brissman-Lundeen Invitational hosted by Augustana College. The men's race begins at 5 p.m., while the women's will start at 6 p.m. at Saukie Golf Course.

CUW Women Results
Larissa Schlitz, 24:48.7 (PR)
Samantha Nelson, 24:50.0
Bethany Doerr, 24:51.2
Morgan Steffens, 25:09.1
Sarah Maynard, 27:03.6
Kelsey Wagner, 27:12.6
Ashley Lyons, 27:18.3
Sarah Volkert, 27:43.9
Haley Ring, 28:13.5
Holly Peterson, 28:26.4
Stephanie Kennett, 28:32.1
Jessica Rice, 28:32.2 (PR)
Jordyn Jurss, 28:32.8 (PR)
Ashley Birenbaum, 28:42.2 (PR)
Taylor Brown, 30:06.3
Beth Small, 34.29.1 (PR)
Kaytlin Kramer, 38:27.4 (PR)

CUW Men Results
Andrew Coop, 27:09.1 (PR)
Alex Rosenau, 28:33.3 (PR)
Jordan Guenther, 28:36.6
Josh Tillman, 28:46.3 (PR)
TJ Helgren, 29:19.3
Johann Hinck, 29:20.0 (PR)
Robert Meilbeck, 29:28.4
Daniel McKee, 30:07.8 (PR)
Stephen Bernau, 30:12.6 (PR)
Brendan Pettis, 30:25.8 (PR)
Steven Stiller, 34:06.1 (PR)