Oct. 26, 2011
Watch Stintzi Press Conference
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin women's cross country head coach Jim Stintzi reflected on the Badgers' competition over the season and their prospects at this weekend's 2011 Big Ten Championship.
Archived video of the media session is available through the link above, and a complete transcript of Byrne's remarks can be found below.
QUESTION #1: Jim, who would you say would be the pleasant surprises so far on this year's team?
STINTZI: Well, Gabby Anzalone has run really well as a freshman. Not a huge surprise, but certainly we're excited about where she's at. Hanna Knurr was a girl who I think I talked about a couple weeks back who was just running on campus, running for the Wisconsin Track Club, and ran a meet that we had indoors last year, and ran really well. And I talked to her about coming out for the team. She couldn't because of class conflicts. She's a pharmacy major. She switched her class schedule around this year, and has done just tremendously. She was our second runner the last meet and she's been in our top five the entire year.
Dani Fischer is a nice story also. Senior here, fifth-year senior, was on the soccer team a while back, decided to kind of pursue road racing on the side, and decided to come out, and made our team, and has been in our top seven, I think, every week. So those are exciting new additions, surprises.
QUESTION #2: You mention your top seven. Do you have an idea who you're going to run as your lineup on Sunday?
STINTZI: Yeah. I'm pretty sure about everybody except for one person. We're still waiting to see if Kyla Chapman will be declared eligible or not by the NCAA. But it will be Caitlin Comfort, who has led us the whole time, the whole year basically, Gabby Anzalone, Hanna Knurr and Ashley Beutler, who struggled the last time out, but I think she's ready to go. Kiah Ehrke and Theresa Selestow have been our fifth runners for a couple meets, and then either Kyla or Rachel McNally and Dani Fischer, and Jenna McMiller, another freshman.
QUESTION #3: You mentioned Caitlin Comfort. What is it about her that's allowed her to be so consistently successful through her career?
STINTZI: Well, in cross country, she's been somebody who's been healthy the entire time. She's been somebody who is consistent in terms of what she does on and off the cross country course. She works really hard, but she's really smart about it. She doesn't overtrain. She's somebody who's doing the work that she needs to do over the summertime, and that's really what it comes down to in cross country. You have to be prepared to do the work over the summertime, and then if you do that, stay healthy, and if you have a good attitude about things, you're going to be ready at the right time of year. And I think she's really coming along at the right time of year this year.
QUESTION #4: Coach, what's a hopeful, a realistic expectation or goal for this weekend?
STINTZI: You know, honestly, as I look at the Big Ten, my honest assessment is there are five or six teams, any one of which could win on a given day. It's not like the men's side where there's one dominant school. Michigan State is the defending champ and they're the top ranked school, probably the best team, but they don't have a lot of front runners, so they're vulnerable in a smaller meet like this. Michigan's run well and not run well during the year. Penn State's run okay and not run very well, same with Iowa and Minnesota, and we've been on the outside looking in. I think if we put together a solid race, one through five, which we haven't done yet, I think we'll be very competitive. How about that for a non-answer? I think we could be very competitive.