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Lopers run wild at Meadowlark: UNK Twilight brings high hopes for 2009 season
Abby Richter
Antelope Staff
Photo by Sanam Bhaila
Amy Long heads to the finish line, ending in first place. Long is a sophomore and one of the best runners from the Lopers who led from the front throughout the cross country race held on Friday, Sept. 4.
Even though this race was scheduled earlier in the season than any race Brady Bonsall, head cross country coach, has ever been a part of, he was still pleased with the results.  The UNK Twilight on Friday, Sept 4 has set high hopes for the 2009 Loper cross country season.

Bonsall was very pleased with both the men's and women’s teams.  

“The women are a little ahead of where I thought they would be, so I hope we continue to progress from there,” Bonsall said. “The sophomores all significantly improved the times they ran on the same course a year ago.”  

The men were exactly where Bonsall expected them to be.  He was especially pleased with team captain, Thomas Neeman.  

“After not competing in the spring, he has come back to school really fit,” Bonsall said.

As for key performers, sophomore Amy Long will carry the women’s team to a successful season this year. 

 “She was our No. 1 runner as a freshman last year, but looks like she is much more prepared for the college season this year,” Bonsall said.  “She really gets it in terms of understanding what it takes to be successful.”  

On the men’s side, Tanner Fruit, a junior, has stepped up and taken on the role of their No. 1 runner. 

“There are a number of other men who are ready to compete at a high level, though,” Bonsall said.  “The men's team has a lot of depth.”

This was a successful year for recruiting and Bonsall said he felt like all the freshman recruits competed really well for their first college race. 

“On the women's side, Catherine Paulsen has stepped in to contribute right away, and I anticipate Layne McConville doing the same as the season progresses,” Bonsall said.  

On the men’s side however, most of the freshmen men ran the first meet unattached to delay decisions on whom to redshirt. 

“On Friday, I found out what I already knew, which is we have several freshmen who are really close to each other,” Bonsall said. “The first five freshmen on the men’s team finished within 14 seconds of each other.”

For the rest of the 2009 season, Bonsall wants one key thing.  He wants both teams to max out.  To Bonsall this means doing the things that great students and great athletes do on a daily basis. 

“There are so many factors that are involved into developing a quality distance runner that are also needed to excel as a student,” Bonsall said.  “Most people don't even begin to understand the commitment that it takes to do this because they [distance runners] have to work hard, work consistently, and work intelligently day after day, week after week, month after month throughout the entire year.”


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