By Brendon Paucek, UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The No. 6-ranked University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's cross country team had another strong showing this past weekend at the Blugold Invite. The men placed second out of 13 teams, scoring 80 points. No. 4 UW-La Crosse won the meet with 33 points.
For the second time this year, senior Darin Lau (Sr. - Eau Claire, WI/Immanuel) won an individual meet title. Not only did he complete the 8,000m course in a lifetime best of 24:15, but he broke the course record previously held by former national champions Ian LaMere (2016) and Josh Moen (2004).
Including Lau, the rest of the Blugold top five included Kyler Lueck (So. – Germantown, WI/WI Lutheran), Sam Kuhlmann (Jr. – Shorewood, WI/Shorewood), Captain Riley Huffman (Sr. – Oshkosh/North), and Patrick Treacy (Jr. – Fall Creek, WI/Memorial).
The powerful quartet finished 11th (25:32), 25th (25:58), 30th (26:03), and 31st (26:04), respectively. For Huffman, it was an impressive season debut.
"The plan going in was to try to be smart early and then race strong the last 3K," said Head Coach Dan Schwamberger. "Overall, I was pleased with our positioning. It just seemed like some of our guys in our top pack were a bit flat and couldn't respond like they did at St. Olaf."
Rounding out the top seven were Anthony Dupont (Jr. – Mendota Heights, MN/Henry Sibley) and Tyler Kobilarcsik (Chanhassen, MN/Chanhassen). The pair finished in 34th (26:06) and 37th (26:11). Also running an impressive race was first-year runner Chad Couser (Fr. – Rochester, MN/Mayo). Couser was in 98th place after one mile but passed nearly 50 runners to finish 58th overall.
Although the Blugolds didn't perform as well at their home meet as last year, Schwamberger likes how his team is currently performing.
"I think we're in a really good spot. My sense is that we still have a lot of growing room."
The Blugolds will spend the next week training hard for their next big test, the Pre-Nationals invite at Principia College in Elsah, IL.