Cross country returns to familiar course in Louisville

When Marquette’s cross country teams raced this weekend in Louisville, Kentucky, at the Greater Louisville Classic, it was a course the Golden Eagles were quite familiar with.

This was the program’s third consecutive year with a trip to Louisville, and it has quickly become one of the team’s desired destinations.

“The Louisville course is one of our favorites,” senior Henry Mierzwa said. “We usually don’t get to travel very far, so (it) is always fun.”

Considering the courses flatness and general lack of hardships, the runners are expected to post their quickest times there.

“We’re hoping to get some fast times,” senior Hannah Gorin said. “It’s a big meet with a lot of fast competitors.”

The upperclassmen have raced this course multiple times, but the younger runners don’t have the same experience. The course posesses a slightly different layout, but runners had the opportunity to jog the course the day before to familiarize themselves with the changes.

Marquette placed 14th out of 29 teams on the men’s side and 17th out of 26 teams on the women’s side.

“I think we’re starting to figure it out as a team,” Nelson said. “We’re getting past some of the early September, start of the school year woes,” Nelson said.

With the time off, multiple athletes returned from injuries. Freshmen Jordan Janusiak and Grace Dargiewicz are making their debuts after missing the beginning of the season due to injuries.

With the help of improved health and a reliance on underclassmen, the team is steadily becoming more of the team they want to be.

“Most of them already have two races under their belts and are looking forward to running on a fast course,” Mierzwa said. “All of our freshmen are super talented.”

Gorin said that the team was expecting plenty of personal records before the meet, and he was right. All 10 of the men’s racers obtained personal records, and the women had their best race of the season at Louisville.

“Having raced there before, it’s nice because I know the (course) and have created a race plan based on how I ran last year and my experience from it,” Gorin said.

And one of the team’s favorite courses has resulted in plenty of confidence.

“Having positive memories at this course to look back on really gives me confidence moving forward. It gives me peace of mind knowing that I’ve done it before, and (I am) left feeling very satisfied,” Mierzwa said.

Cross country will have a weekend off before racing Oct. 12 at the Bradley Pink Classic in Peoria, Illinois.