Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Men's cross country win first meet of the season

After winning their first meet of the season, the men’s cross country team is looking to have a successful season and earn a national bid to the NCAA Division III national meet.
The Vikings were repeat champions at the Western Illinois Invitational, scoring 29 points. Senior Tanner Osing led the way for the Vikings, finishing second in the meet with a time of 19:13 in the 6k race.
Despite being in what Olsen said was the toughest region in the country, the team is aiming high for the season.
“Our goals are to finish in the top 10 percent of all the invitationals we go to, to finish near the top in the conference and to qualify for nationals,” Olsen said.
Although the team lost four of their seven top runners, Osing hopes to build off of their success last year, where the team qualified for the national meet and finished 20th in the nation.
“Losing those guys definitely has impact on the team, but it is nothing we can’t get through,” Osing said.
The team is looking towards the recruits they have brought into the program with 13 new freshmen.
Head coach Paul Olsen said he is looking towards the upperclassmen to inspire and lead this year.
“Everyone has stepped up realizing they are the leadership this year,” Olsen said.
Osing agreed with Olsen.
“I think this year’s team has a tremendous amount of depth. Every year, we talk about guys stepping up to fill the holes left by the graduation class and the showing so far has proven that guys are more than ready to step up,” Osing said.
Olsen also said that as the season progresses the team will “gradually get more and more confident,” especially towards the end of the season.
The Vikings also participated in a meet in Cedar Rapids, Iowa last Thursday where they finished fifth with a mostly freshman squad. The race was a 5k, or approximately 3.1 miles. Nick Harvey, a freshman, finished first for the Vikings, placing 10th overall with a time of 16:19.
Olsen said he sent the freshman to the meet because he wants to acclimate them to the 8k, or six miles.
Olsen was excited with how the freshman performed during the first meet.
“They have tremendous enthusiasm, loyalty and role-model work ethic that tells us all they are going to have great careers,” Olsen said.  “All they need is experience; everything else is there.”
The Vikings will be running this Saturday at the Les Duke Invitational in Grinnell, Iowa. The meet will begin at 10 a.m.

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Men's cross country win first meet of the season