The Wisconsin Badgers cross country teams finished their season Nov. 17 at the NCAA Championships in Charlottesville, VA. The men placed 10th and the women placed 22nd in a field stacked with marquee competitors.
They proved their dominance the previous weekend at the Great Lakes Regional on Nov. 10, where both the men and women placed second to qualify for an automatic bid to the big dance and continue their postseason run.
Additionally, head coach Mick Byrne earned the Great Lakes Region Men’s Coach of the Year award while junior Leane Willemse and senior Bob Liking placed a spot on the USATF All-Region Team.
On a sunny Saturday in Charlottesville, the Badgers had a full team performance to conclude their season on a high note. Going into nationals, the men were ranked fifth and the women were ranked 18th.
For the women, Willemse finished off her strong season placing 44th (20:08). A whole pack of Badgers followed Willemse, including seniors Viviane Hacker (20:54) and Danielle Orie (21:01) as well as freshman Bella Jacobson (20:54). Jacobson had a triumphant finish, climbing her way 36 places in the last 1K of the 6K race.
On the men’s side, senior Jackson Sharp was the first Badger across the finish line, placing 41st (29:51). Sophomore Adam Spencer (30:15), junior Josh Truchon (30: 19) and Liking (30:24) were all close behind Sharp.
Although the season has ended, there is a lot to look forward to next year. The Badgers will host the 2024 NCAA Championships on the esteemed Thomas Zimmer Championship Course.