Runners come out of the gate strong at Bradley Invite

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The fact that they were able to do that without injured star runners — senior Brianna Dahm, senior Audrey Schlitz, sophomore Alli Sauer and sophomore Jodi Jakubek — was all the more encouraging for Uhrich.

“It showed me that to still go in and have your freshmen perform that well without some of our other top runners in there,” Urich said. “When we get those girls back in a couple weeks, it’s going be outstanding. It shows us how much depth we have. That’s so important to have depth, in case someone getssick or injured or whatever.”

Uhrich’s recruiting class made an immediate impact, as freshman Heidi Lindeman finished first with a time of 17:38, sophomore Michaela Courtney finished fourth with a time of 17:40, and freshman Shannon Oster finished 14th with a time of 18:11.

“It was exciting,” Lindeman said, of finishing first overall in the first collegiate race of her career. “I didn’t really know what to expect, so it was kind of a shock for me.”

“Heidi and Michaela both ran like veterans,” Uhrich said. “They weren’t intimidated, they ran out and battled everyone right away.”

The upperclassmen also proved themselves fairly well, rounding out Marquette’s top five finishes as senior Jamie Haro took 13th with a time of 18:06 and sophomore Susie Emond finished 19th with a time of 18:20.

“That was very important for us,” Uhrich said. “To be able to battle for the win, we had to have other people step up, and they did.

Haro was also impressed with the performance of the team despite the fact that the top three runners sat out.

“We know that there are a lot of girls who will step up,” she said. “It takes some pressure off of you.”

While the women have won the Bradley Invitational the past three years in a row, Uhrich was not overly disappointed that they couldn’t make it a fourth.

He attributed the second-place finish to a more competitive field and the fact that Dahm, Schlitz, Sauer and Jakubek were held from the race.

“Anytime you go to a meet you certainly want to win, but we’re looking to our future meets more,” Uhrich said. “Had we run all of our people I think we probably could have won, or at least had a better chance.”

Like the women, the men saw a streak of two first-place finishes in a row at Bradley come to an end. They finished fourth overall behind Southern Illinois, Northern Iowa and Eastern Illinois.

Freshman Jeremy Williams was Marquette’s top runner, coming in fifth with a time of 25:03.75, while sophomore Dave Henderson came in tenth with a time of 25:23.27.

“I was really happy, actually,” Williams said. “I think we’ve been training really hard and I just felt really good about my race. I thought it was a really positive experience for me.”

The men were without injured runners sophomore Brent Des Roches and senior Jason Crichton, who both played integral roles on last year’s team.

“Without those guys I knew that we’re lacking in depth a little and it showed,” Uhrich said. “We saw some young runners do real well, and I think some of the older runners realized they have to get up there with those guys. I think as the meets get bigger, I think they’ll step up, and if they do, we’re going be a very good team.”

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