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Altitude doesn't stop UNK runners: Cross-country team brings home two third team all-conference plaques
Abby Richter
Antelope Staff
Photo by Abby Richter
The mens team huddles together for a prayer before their race.
Photo by Abby Richter
Amy Long receives her award for third team all-conference after her race.

Denver, the Mile High City, is a beautiful city to look at, but somewhat difficult for running. Still, the Loper cross-country team succeeded in running at altitude this past weekend, Oct. 24, at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference held at Washington Park in Denver, Colo. Despite less air to breathe, the Lopers managed to bring home two third team all- conference plaques.

The top 21 individuals in both the men's and women’s races placed and made an allconference team. Amy Long, a sophomore athletic training major from Bayard, made that cut by placing 21st in the women’s race with a time of 24:14. That was good enough to get her a third team, all-conference plaque.

“We competed well even though we may have been at a disadvantage because we are not used to running at altitude,” Long said. “I feel like even though my time was slower because of the altitude, I still competed against the people I was running with.”

Tanner Fruit, a junior exercise science major from Ogallala, placed 17th in the men’s race with a time of 26:28.  He also received a third team all-conference plaque.  “As a team, I feel like we competed well at this race, but we still haven’t reached maximum potential,” Fruit said.

Overall though, Fruit was happy with his individual race. “I felt like I competed well with the conditions and the field of athletes.

Team captain Thomas Neemann, a senior construction management major from Syracuse, placed 44th in the men’s race with a time of 27:55. Though this was a race with some of the best competition in the country, Neemann feels like it was good to see some of the teams that will be at the regional meet held in Wayne on Nov. 7.

“I feel like this was a good race to compare us to other teams and see where we will be at the regional meet,” Neemann said.  “We can now pick out the teams that beat us at conference, and go after them at regional in two weeks.”

Overall the men placed fifth and the women placed 10th. The Lopers will compete on Nov. 7 in Wayne for the regional meet, which will close the 2009 UNK the cross-country season.

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