Sept. 20, 2012
MADISON, Wis. – After winning its first two meets of the season, the Wisconsin women’s cross country team refocuses its goals this weekend in Earlysville, Va.
After claiming their second-straight victory of the season last Saturday at the Warhawk Invitational, the Badgers are looking forward to tougher competition at the Panorama Farms Invitational. Hosted by No. 15-ranked Virginia, the event also includes strong teams from Cal, Kentucky and Oklahoma. Howard, Liberty, Norfolk State and VCU will also compete.
With help from last season’s top runners, sophomore Gabrielle Anzalone and senior Ashley Beutler, as well as newcomer Emma-Lisa Murphy, UW started its season with a perfect score of 15 points and a win at the Badger Invitational.
The Badgers went on to win the Warhawk Invitational last weekend with strong races from a number of developmental runners. The meet was an opportunity for UW head coach Jim Stintzi to see how the newer runners race.
“We’ve had a good start to the season,” Stintzi said. “Our lineups looked different the first two weeks, but we’ve learned a little bit about our athletes each time we’ve raced.”
Wisconsin’s top runners will return to the course at 9 a.m. Saturday when they will try to continue their success against the stronger competition. The Badgers have an opportunity to win their third meet in as many weeks, but developing individually will be their primary goal.
After this weekend’s meet, the UW will be on the road again on Saturday, Sept. 29, for the Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic, which serves as a preview of the course that plays host to the NCAA championship in November.
After an off week, the Badgers will be set for the fourth-annual Wisconsin adidas Invitational on Oct. 12, which is the highlight of the “regular season” nationally and includes 45 of the top programs from around the country.
“There’s no doubt we’ve got the adidas meet circled,” Stintzi said. “It’s always big for us to run well on our home course, and it’s our last major test before we go to the Big Ten championship. These next few weeks aver very important for us.
“It begins Saturday at Virginia.”