By Miles Montgomery

 This past weekend, both Colorado College men’s and women’s cross-country teams traveled to Kentucky to compete in the Division III Pre-National Meet in Louisville. 

The men finished 18 out of 40 total teams in the 8K, paced by Tony Calderon ’20 who finished 14th place  out of 276 runners. Calderon, whose time of 24:49.06 was a personal record, was named the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Runner of the Week for his efforts.  

“Our returning class trained hard over the summer, and we had a group of runners at altitude for most of those months too — that strength has definitely carried on into the early part of our season,” Paul Olsen ’21 said. “In addition to our upperclassmen, we have a motivated group of first-years that are excited to contribute to the team and our goal of reclaiming the conference title from Trinity University.”

The women placed 25th, and were paced by Lucy Wagner ’22, who ran a 22.30.08 5K. Unfortunately, due to a course error with the gate that resulted in some runners following the wrong course path, the times were calculated based on the last split that was recording at the 3.9K mark. Despite the course fiasco, both teams emerged from the race feeling confident about the rest of the season, specifically looking forward to the conference tournament.

“It went very well,” Claire Tobin ’20 said. “We brought our top eight girls to run at preliminary Nationals, and we have a really great pack. The difference between the first runner and the eighth is under a minute, which is amazing. It is really unique to have such a tight group.”

The women’s team is hoping to build on the success they had at the regional meet, and to build positive momentum as the 2019 SCAC tournament approaches quickly. The tournament will take place only 20 minutes down the road in Widefield, Colo., giving an advantage to CC’s runners who train at altitude all year long. 

The men’s team also has its eyes on a successful showing at the conference tournament. 

Olsen feels the team has prepared well for success this season and emphasized the excitement that comes with hosting the conference tournament. 

“Winning conference on home turf is definitely a huge priority for our team this year,” Olsen said. “Being at altitude is absolutely an advantage to our team whether we’re competing at sea level or at elevation. We’re excited about how strong this team is and are looking forward to hosting the rest of the SCAC.”  

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