Season in Review: 2017 Cross Country Teams

Season in Review: 2017 Cross Country Teams

WATERTOWN, Wis. -- The 2017 season was a story of perseverance for both the Men's and the Women's Cross Country Teams.

THE RECAP

The year yielded ups and downs for both squads. On the men's side, the team finished in 2nd place at NCCAA Nationals in November, and Cameron Rankin set the pace with a time of 28:32 - a PR for the junior and the 5th-best time in Maranatha Men's Cross Country history. With his top-5 finish, Rankin was subsequently named as an NCCAA All-American for the first time in his career.

To get to the 2nd-place podium, the team battled through injury and adverse conditions on race day. From pouring rain to sweltering heat, there seemed to be no such thing as a "normal day" of competition. Despite inclement weather, the team posted 10 season-best times at the Wisconsin Private College Championships on Oct. 14. The team took advantage of running on their home course, as they finished in 5th place - their best finish to date in the state-wide event.

Four different runners ran their season-best time in under 30 minutes. Rankin, (28:32), Jeremiah Doak (28:38), Robert Kile (29:28), and Kurt Wagner (29:57) all broke the half-hour mark this season.

Rankin and Doak were the undisputed top runners for Maranatha this season.

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The Women's Team took 5th place at the season finale, as the top 5 runners combined for a mark of 1:59:05 - their best team mark this season. This was a rebuilding year for the Sabercats, who fielded just 7 total runners and 3 returning runners. 

Injuries were a part of the story for the Women's squad, who had this challenge in addition to the adverse race-day weather. Because of these difficulties, the team struggled to repeat the normal pattern of improvement throughout the season. Challenges aside, 3 of the runners set a season-best time at NCCAA Nationals.

Sarah Vander Pluym and Madelyn Hansel were the top runners for the Sabercats this season. Both runners clocked in at 21:40 or better at NCCAA Nationals. Vander Pluym's 21:27 mark was her best time this season while Hansel's time of 21:40 was her 5K PR. 

THE BREAKDOWN

Below is a list of each runner's best time from the 2017 season:

Runner (Men)          Time Event 
Jeremiah Doak    28:38    Wisconsin Private College Championships 
Ryan Gick 38:29 Wisconsin Private College Championships     
Robert Kile 29:28 NCCAA Nationals  
Josh Kruit 30:46 Wisconsin Private College Championships     
TJ Lacock 36:06 Wisconsin Private College Championships   
Jonathan Leslie 34:18 Wisconsin Private College Championships   
Colton Lingle 32:36 Wisconsin Private College Championships   
Jacob MacDonald 31:28 Wisconsin Private College Championships   
Matthew Nutzhorn 32:47 Wisconsin Private College Championships   
Cameron Rankin 28:32 NCCAA Nationals
James Rossiter 33:34 Wisconsin Private College Championships   
Kurt Wagner 29:57 NCCAA Nationals
David Williams 30:47 Wisconsin Private College Championships   
     
Runner (Women) Time Event 
Madelyn Hansel 21:40 NCCAA Nationals (5K)
Anna Heins 28:28 Warrior Invitational
Haly Hendricks 35:07 Warrior Invitational  
Katheryn Marten 34:29 Wisconsin Private College Championships
Ruth Tan 42:32 Ken Weidt Classic
Sarah Vander Pluym 21:27 NCCAA Nationals (5K)
Lauryn Wigdal 25:32 NCCAA Nationals (5K)

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THE SOUND BITE

"Each one of the teams was a pleasure to work and run with," said head coach Isaiah Steinbart. "Coming into the season I knew we had a lot of work to do in order to compete at Nationals this year, but each one of these athletes put in a lot of work, and it showed at the different meets. I would like to thank my assistant coach Nicole Verhalen for all of the hard work that she did in helping me and also Ryan Gick who also assisted me when I was not here. I would also like to thank the fans that came and supported us at our meets."

THE OVERVIEW

  • NCCAA National Finish (M): 2nd 
  • Best Team Time (M): 2:29:02 - Wisconsin Private College Championships
  • Best Individual Time (M): Cameron Rankin - 28:32 - NCCAA Nationals 
  • NCCAA National Finish (W): 5th 
  • Best Team Time (W): 1:59:05 - NCCAA Nationals (5K)
  • Best Individual Time (W): Sarah Vander Pluym - 21:27 - NCCAA Nationals (5K)

THE AWARDS

  • NCCAA All-America Selections:
    • Cameron Rankin
  • NCCAA Scholar-Athletes:
    • Madelyn Hansel, Josh Kruit, Colton Lingle, Matthew Nutzhorn, Cameron Rankin, James Rossiter, Ruth Tan, Sarah Vander Pluym

 

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