Every year the UW-Superior men’s and women’s cross-country teams wraps up with the same race, Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Cross Country Championship race.

For the Yellowjackets preparation for the race began in the summer, where both teams looked to improve from last season. Going into the UMAC cross country race the men’s team looked to keep the UMAC trophy in Superior, Wis. by winning their third consecutive championship.

“Our goal is to win a championship, I think we are well position to do that as long as we are staying healthy and are smart about our race,” said Glen Drexler the head coach of both teams.

Within a cross-country race, teams are looking to score the lowest number of points by finishing earlier than the rest of the competition.

The UMAC championship is a major race for the Yellowjackets but the team tries to treat it like any other. “If you treat the UMAC race like it’s special or something more than what it is, you’ll psych yourself out. Over my time here at UWS, I’ve had multiple different perceptions of the race and each one has led to a better or worse outcome. I think the most important thing about this race is using what you’ve learned and executing it,” said Collins.

As for the women’s team, they look to take home their first ever title.

The women’s team finished third in the 2022 UMAC championship race, finishing behind Bethany Lutheran who placed second, and the defending champs in Martin Luther.

“We made some big strides this year to be able to contest for it,” said Drexler in response
to women contesting for the UMAC championship. Having three athletes on the roster that hold a spot on the individual top ten list will help the Yellowjackets obtain their first championship, but all the women’s cross-country runners need to compete for the Yellowjackets to win a championship.

“It is exciting that the women’s team has the opportunity to win for the first time. However, in order for this to happen we have to come into the race strong and confident. I am nervous for the race, however I’m excited to let all of our hard work come together and am confident in the work that we have put in,” said Barker.

The men’s team finished in first at the UMAC conference championship race with Michael Butterfield, Aidan Doherty, Zachary Reese, and David Collins claiming the top-4 spots in that order.

As for the women’s team, they finished in first with Cora Hudella leading the way at first overall. Halle Barker and Tea Boerner also finshed in third and
fifth place.

Both teams will compete in the North Regional Championship on Nov.
11 in Colfax, Wis.