The Yellowjacket men’s cross-country team has won the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) championship each year since 2016. That streak came to an end on Saturday, Nov. 2 as the Yellowjacket men finished second to St. Scholastica.
UW-Superior co-hosted the 2019 UMAC Cross Country Championships with conference rivals Northland College and the College of St. Scholastica. Superior’s Nemadji Golf Course was the site of Saturday’s race, on a day where the weather felt more like winter than fall. A Lake Superior wind and overcast skies kept the temperatures in the 30s, although the wind made the conditions feel much cooler.
St. Scholastica owned the race, taking home the team crown with a miniscule 19 points. The Saints had the top three finishers in the race, and had their top five runners place among the first seven runners across the line to easily outdistance the rest of the field. The Yellowjackets placed second, finishing the day with 69 points. Rounding out the top three was Minnesota Morris who ended the race with 72 points.
Derrick Moe (Cloquet, Minn./Cloquet) was the top finisher for the Yellowjackets. The sophomore completed the eight-kilometer course with a time of 27:31.0, which was good for fifth place. Moe’s strong performance saw him shave more than 30 seconds off his time from a year ago, when he finished in 19th place. Eddie Carlson (South St. Paul, Minn./South St. Paul Secondary) also had a top-ten finish on the day, coming across the line with a time of 28:01.1.
St. Scholastica’s Easton Foss was the UMAC individual championship, winning the title with a time of 26:32.1. He edged teammate Lars Dewall by one-tenth of a second.
Meanwhile in the women’s race, St. Scholastica placed three runners in the top ten, with their top five finishers combining for 52 points to earn the title, narrowly edging out Minnesota Morris, which finished with 54 points. The race was the tightest finish since the UMAC became an NCAA Division III conference in 2008. The Yellowjackets rounded out the top three, making three straight third place finishes. They finished the day with 86 points.
Leading the charge for the Yellowjackets were a trio of runners who placed 13th, 14th, and 15th. Haruka Hamanaka (Izumisano, Japan/Kishiwada) was the first Yellowjacket to come across the line, completing the six-kilometer course with a time of 25:16.8. She was just ahead of Roz Larson (Ashland, Wis./Ashland), whose time was 25:35.9. Right on Larson’s heels was Nicole Koski (Park Falls, Wis./Chequamegon), who registered a time of 25:38.0.
Minnesota Morris freshman Mckenna Langerud was the individual conference champion, coming in with a time of 23:59.8.
Next up for the Yellowjackets is a trip to the 2019 NCAA Division III Central Region Championships in Waverly, Iowa on Nov. 16.