If there is a Mines sports team that has tasted success, it is the Cross Country Team. On Oct. 21 the men’s cross country team claimed their second RMAC title led by a first place finish from senior Grant Colligan and a second place finish by senior Ricardo Ocampo. The women’s team took an all-time best second place in RMAC. Between both the men and women’s team the team took home nine first- team all-RMAC honors.
As the team ramps up for the south-central regional meet, they also look forward to the Division II national meet, which the men’s team won in 2015.
Although looking back to their past glory is motivating, the team desires far more. As senior Matthew Kade, who took sixth at RMAC, said, “After the 2015 year when we won, this year and last year we are trying to get back to there, but at the same point we are trying to be better than that.”
The men’s previous success is also an inspiration for the women’s team as well. Junior Megan Wenham said, “I like to think of it like [the boys’ team as] the older more successful brother and we are the younger sibling.” Wenham finished as the second finisher on the team at RMAC with a seventh-place finish, after Molly Reicher who finished 5th overall.
All this success is not at all just luck for the Cross Country Team. They work for it. The team runs year-round between cross country and track season, with training for cross country beginning in June. “We did some crazy tempos this season where it was really long and the paces were ridiculous,” said Wenham, who this season is also running more mileage than she ever has before.
Another factor to the team’s success is head coach Chris Siemers, who was coach in 2015 for the national championship title and was named the NCAA Division II Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2015. His athletes agree with these accolades as well; “Chris is doing an amazing job overall with the team,” said Kade.
No matter what the future holds for the men and women’s team at the regional meet on Nov. 4 or the national meet on Nov. 18, they will always still have their teammates above all else.
“[The other guys on the team] are a great support system. No matter what is happening, you will always have someone there to bring you back up,” said Kade.