Cross Country ends their season with unexpected results

Stuti Shrestha

The 2021 CCIW Championship was a success for both the men’s and women’s cross country team. On Nov.13, everyone performed their best but Michael Gille was the only player to enter the NCAA cross country championship since 2016.

Men’s cross country captain, senior Karsten Zielinski, is really proud of himself and his teammates for being second in the CCIW championship.

“Being second as a team in CCIW championships was a really huge accomplishment for us,” Zielinski said. “We were training from summer, all gave full effort for the game and after being second we were excited to share our records as a team.”

Rather than feeling demotivated by not qualifying for NCAA, Zielinski feels he and his teammates need to improve for upcoming challenges.

“Certain number of teams and people can only make it to the NCAA cross country championship. With the exception of Michael Gille, we didn’t make it there, but that doesn’t mean we stop trying,” Zielinski said. “We will always try our best as a team and as individuals.”

Part of being the team captain means motivating his teammates by setting an example and socializing with them.

“As a captain, I feel little things like studying together, running, and having fun can be a really big influence to us,” Zielinski said. “Our season is finished now and we have more time reading, doing homework, and socializing together.”

Senior women’s cross country athlete Irais Tenorio appreciates the achievement made by the team.

“At the CCIW championship our success was expected, because we put lots of effort into it,” Tenorio said. “As a team we enjoyed our time with each other and had a good accomplishment.”

She found it difficult to balance her life in the beginning but her coach helped her and maintained a friendly environment.

“When I came up here in my freshman year, I was so confused and going through lots of emotion but my coach, he helped me reignite my passion for the sports,” Tenorio said. “Coach always has these goofiest ideas like Christmas theme running, Halloween theme running and much more which brings a positive attitude to the team.”

Being in the cross country team has been a great experience for Tenorio. It has allowed her to build her strategies and better her mindset.

“Even though I didn’t qualify for the NCAA cross country championship, I am very proud of myself and what we have accomplished as a team together this year,” Tenorio said. “I feel being in this team has taught me to believe in my mentality and keep on improving myself.”

Senior men’s cross country athlete, Evan Webber feels coach has been a great hand on their achievement.

“We got second as a team in the CCIW Championships, this shows how our coach has brought improvement in us and our hard work as an athlete,” Webber said. “We all helped each other and pushed to go from the first mile to the last.”

He is happy at his teammates achievement and wants him to do his best at NCAA cross country championships.

“I was a little upset while not qualifying for the NCAA cross country championship because I feel like we kept a good amount of hard work but also didn’t qualify,” Webber said. “I feel at ease to see one of the Michael Gille representing Augustana, I want him to give his 100 percent and make us proud.”

Michael Gille made his new personal record by being top 100 at 97th overall at NCAA cross country championship.