Consistent Comfort: Senior leads Badgers to 4th-place Big Ten finish


ON WISCONSIN
ON WISCONSIN

ON WISCONSIN

Oct. 30, 2011

2011 Big Ten Championship
University of Illinois Arboretum • Urbana, Ill.
Game Photo
Championship Results  |  Complete Results Get     Acrobat  Reader
• Distance: 6 Kilometers
 Team Results
1. Michigan State 55
2. Michigan 61
3. Penn State 71
4. Wisconsin 89
5. Minnesota 140
6. Iowa 149
7. Nebraska 202
8. Northwestern 213
9. Ohio State 217
10. Indiana 228
11. Purdue 306
12. Illinois 351
 Individual Results
1. Cailtin Lane PSU 19:58
2. Caitlin Comfort WIS 20:12
3. Danielle Tauro MICH 20:14
4. Rebecca Addison MICH 20:21
5. Stephanie Price MINN 20:30
16. Ashley Beutler WIS 20:47
18. Kyla Chapman WIS 20:48
20. Gabrielle Anzalone WIS 20:51
33. Hanna Knurr WIS 21:07
41. Dani Fischer WIS 21:15
48. Theresa Selestow WIS 21:26
51. Kiah Ehrke WIS 21:27
77. Jenna McMiller WIS 22:07
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URBANA, Ill. -- As a senior captain, Caitlin Comfort has helped lead the Wisconsin women's cross country team simply with her presence throughout the season.

She led the way with actions on Sunday at the 2011 Big Ten Championship.

With a second-place finish in a time of 20 minutes, 12 seconds, Comfort led the charge for a Badgers team that posted a fourth-place finish for its best showing at the conference meet since 2008.

The performance continued a consistent climb up the Big Ten ladder for Comfort, who became the first UW runner to secure All-Big Ten honors in four consecutive years since Bethany Brewster did so from 1998 to 2001.

"I was hoping to be in the top five this year, so I just went after it," Comfort said. "I stuck it out and came away with second place, and I'm really happy with that."

 Fast Facts
Caitlin Comfort takes 2nd for fourth All-Big Ten performance
• Wisconsin records highest Big Ten finish since 2008
• Three newcomers score for Badgers, who post best score since '08

"Obviously, I was really happy with Caitlin's race," UW head coach Jim Stintzi said. "She ran a typical Caitlin race. She's really consistent when it comes to the big meets and today was no exception. That was great."

UW took fourth place as a team with 89 points -- its lowest score since 2008 -- and came in behind Penn State's third-place total of 71. Michigan State took the championship with 55 points, while Michigan tallied a score of 61 to grab the runner-up spot.

Penn State's Caitlin Lane took home the individual title by completing the 6-kilometer course in a time of 19:58.

"We got fourth and we're happy with that," Comfort said. "There are still some things we can improve upon as a team and were going to try and do that at regionals."

Stintzi was pleased to see Wisconsin join the top three teams by separating itself from the rest of the league.

"The meet really turned out to be different than I expected. It was a four-way meet," Stintzi said. "There were very few people other than those four teams with runners in the top 20."

Four of those runners were Badgers.

Despite an unfortunate injury that kept her from finishing her last race at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational, Ashley Beutler came back strong. The junior ran second for the Badgers and finished 16th overall in 20:47.

"I think she knew that she was one of the secrets for us to be in the hunt for the Big Ten championship," said Stintzi. "She's getting better each week and I think regionals will be even better for her."

Taking third for Wisconsin and 18th overall was junior newcomer Kyla Chapman, who ran in her first meet as a Badger and clocked in at 20:48.

Freshman Gabrielle Anzalone clocked in at 20:51 to earn 21st place as the Badgers' fourth runner.
A third newcomer in UW's top five finishers, sophomore Hanna Knurr, ran a time of 21:07 for 33rd place to round out Wisconsin's scored finishes.

 "The race plan was to try and get all five in the top 20 to 25," Stintzi said. "Our top four were all in the top 20 so that's kind of what we wanted to do."

Also, senior Dani Fischer was 41st in 21:15 and sophomore Theresa Selestow was 48th with a time of 21:26.

With a strong start to championship season under their belts, the Badgers now look to the upcoming NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Nov. 12 and the NCAA championship on Nov. 21.

"We are at the point in our training where everybody is feeling pretty good; everybody's mileage is pretty high," Comfort said. "We're not at the point in the season where we want to peak yet."

ON WISCONSIN
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