Wildcats face fatigue in Lamoni

After a long meet at the University of Arkansas, the Baker cross country teams had a dificult time bouncing back last weekend in the first annual Yellowjacket Classic in Lamoni, Iowa.

The meet, hosted by Graceland University, consisted of 17 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics men's and women's teams. The Baker women finished 10th in the race and were behind five Heart of America Athletic Conference schools. The men crossed the finish line with an 11th place standing and were behind four HAAC schools. <br/>Senior Ari Penner said the meet was important for the ‘Cats to compete in because the distance was shorter than what they ran in the previous meet, and it was an opportunity to run against HAAC competition.Senior Ari Penner said the meet was important for the ‘Cats to compete in because the distance was shorter than what they ran in the previous meet, and it was an opportunity to run against HAAC competition.
Senior Ari Penner said the meet was important for the ‘Cats to compete in because the distance was shorter than what they ran in the previous meet, and it was an opportunity to run against HAAC competition.

“A lot of us didn’t run as well as we were hoping because we’ve had a tough couple weeks of practice, so we were kind of tired,” Penner said. “We didn’t place as well as we wanted to, but I think it was an important meet for us.”

Senior Amber Keith was the front-runner for the ‘Cats as she finished 30th in the 5K race out of 144 women. Penner and sophomore Mary Loveland followed Keith closely behind, ending the race 45th and 49th, respectively.

Penner said one contributing factor to the team’s unexpected performance was that many of the opposing schools had the weekend before the race off, whereas Baker traveled and competed against Divison I runners in an unusually longer race.

“A lot of our conference schools had a lot of time off, so they were all pretty fresh,” Penner said. “We had just gotten done with a distance race, so we weren’t quite as ready to run as they were.”

Similarly, Keith said although the team’s results may not have been as high as expected, members kept in mind their bodies were more fatigued than most of the other teams.

“We may not have the best times and all, but I think that’s just coming off of an over-distanced race from before; our legs weren’t as refreshed as everyone else’s,” Keith said.

On the men's side, the Wildcats were led by freshman Ezra Bett, who finished 21st out of 161 runners. Sophomore Chris Scheidman finished 25th in the 8K race for the Wildcats. <br/>Freshman Brian Hageman, who came in third for the ‘Cats, said he thought the meet was tough after coming off of a 10K performance a week before.Freshman Brian Hageman, who came in third for the ‘Cats, said he thought the meet was tough after coming off of a 10K performance a week before.
Freshman Brian Hageman, who came in third for the ‘Cats, said he thought the meet was tough after coming off of a 10K performance a week before.

“We have a week off and this weekend,” Hageman said. “With conference in a week, I think we’ll have time to recover from this race and do well at conference.”

Baker will have a weekend off to prepare for its most important test of the season: the HAAC Championships.

It will be hosted by Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo. Keith said the team will benefit from a weekend off to prepare and rest for the meet.

“I think this next week is about getting mentally focused – just preparing our minds for the race,” Keith said.