Agnew and Greenwood lead as Marquette opens XC season in Verona

The Marquette men’s and women’s cross-country teams opened their season at Friday’s Badger Classic hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course. The Golden Eagles placed third on the men’s side, while the women finished fourth overall.

Wisconsin’s upperclassmen Jake Erschen, Jacob Naylor, Neal Berman and Malachy Schrobilgen swept the top four places before Marquette’s first finisher, redshirt senior Spencer Agnew, crossed the finish line in seventh place with a time of 18:46.

Jack Senefeld last competed at the Badger Classic in 2010, when he finished third for Marquette and eighth overall. He returned to the course in Verona by placing 11th and finishing just 11 seconds behind Agnew in 18:57.

Five of Marquette’s runners finished in the top 20. Sophomores Andres Tineo-Paz and Cody Haberkorn ran 19:13 as they finished side-by-side. Haberkorn managed to crack the team’s top seven consistently in 2012. Tineo-Paz looks to fill the void left by fellow sophomore William Hennessy, who missed the team’s first meet as he recovers from an injury.

Nate Gomoll was the top Marquette freshman finisher and placed 18th overall in 19:31. There were just four other freshmen in the race that ran faster.

On the women’s side, Marquette’s top five runners were either freshmen or sophomores. Kellie Greenwood placed fifth overall in 14:23 to lead the Golden Eagles. The Two Rivers native is Marquette’s top returner from the 2012 Big East Cross Country Championship.

Freshman Alison Parker finished second for Marquette and just three places behind Greenwood for eighth overall in her collegiate debut. Parker joins the Golden Eagles after an accomplished career at Neenah High School and was one of Wisconsin’s highly touted recruits. She was the second fastest freshman on the course in 14:29 behind second place finisher, Northwestern’s Andrea Ostenso, who was the fastest Wisconsin competitor at last year’s Footlocker Midwest Regional Championship.

Freshman Brittney Feivor made her debut in blue and gold by dipping under 15 minutes for the race and cracking the top 20. Mariah Frank finished 10th at the Alumni Run and placed 24th at the Badger Classic. Captains Hannah Frett and Rebecca Pachuta rounded out the top five.

Marquette returns to action as they head to South Bend, Ind. for the National Catholic Championship hosted by Notre Dame on Sept. 20.

Story by Christopher Chavez
Special to the Tribune