Four Oiler cross country athletes lead the teams
By Jaye Williams
The Oilers cross country team looks to finish out a season that has started strong with record-breaking athletes leading the way.
It starts with proper preparation and good performances from the core athletes, according to Lisa Klingshirn, head coach of the cross country teams.
“As a group, the team has come off a great summer of training and that will pay huge dividends as they handle the rigors of training throughout the season,” said Klingshirn.
Klingshirn believes that success takes more than just hard training.
“They are also a very dedicated group of athletes who want to succeed and will do all the little things outside of training, such as good nutrition, sleep, time management, to be successful,” said Klingshirn.
UF has a men’s cross country team as well as a women’s. Each squad is facing different challenges, according to Klingshirn.
“Our top three runners have been pretty consistent in our first few meets and the rest of the pack needs to run a little closer to them,” said Klingshirn, regarding the men’s team.
Klingshirn said that for the women’s team, the top three to four runners need to group together early in the race and run together longer.
With the cross country season being so long, the team has plenty of time to overcome their challenges and improve.
The first meet of the season was on Sept. 2 and the last cross country meet of the year isn’t until Nov. 19.
“As the season progresses, we face stronger and stronger competition. They will need to be confident in their training and step up to the challenge as they are very capable. The athletes also need to stay healthy. They need to listen to their bodies,” said Klingshirn.
Klingshirn is keeping an eye on the core runners to stay healthy and win against the stronger competition.
The men’s side of the team is led by junior Matias Trampe-Kindt and sophomore Jonathan Allen. Klingshirn says the duo runs very well together.
“Matias is one of UF’s top distance runners who broke the school record in the 1500m during last year indoor track season,” said Klingshirn. “Jonathan is more of a longer distance runner and looks to make an impact on the record books in his career.”
The previous record was held by Mark Gleason who ran a 4:02 in 2015, Matias ran a 4:01 last indoor season.
On the women’s side of the team, there are also two key front runners.
“Senior Melanie Ruich and junior Taylor Bolinger are our top two on the women’s side,” said Klingshirn. “Taylor has run the second-fastest time in UF history at the 6K distance and Melanie the fourth-fastest and both are in very good running shape right now,” says Klingshirn.
The school record was run by Emily Gauger with a time of 21:51 in 2006, Taylor is just a second behind with a time of 21:52, which she ran in 2015.
The Oiler cross country team’s next meet will be the All-Ohio Championship held on Oct. 3 in Cedarville, Ohio at 2 p.m.