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Emma Schaefer finishes third in Midwest Conference Championship

Emma Schaefer ’23 competes in the Midwest Conference championship. Contributed by Ted Schultz.

The Women’s Cross Country team competed in the final Midwest Conference Championships event of the season on Saturday October 30, at Tuscumbia Golf Course in Green Lake, Wisconsin.  

The team looked to defend their title from the 2019 league meet, the first since 2014. This year, the Pioneers scored 62 points and finished second behind Lawrence University.  

Emma Schaefer ’23, repeated as an All-Midwest Conference honoree, running the 6-kilometer route in 23 minutes, 38.13 seconds, finishing third out of 88 runners. Schaefer was followed immediately by Sarah Torrence ’23, who finished fourth with a time of 23 minutes, 51.24 seconds. Crys Kaczmarczyk’25 also finished in 14th place, and Megan LeBlanc ’23 in 20th place.  

“I went into that race wanting to just give myself a shot at winning,” said Schaefer about her performance at the meet. She described the experience of starting the race at a fast pace but not being able to stick with the leader and being passed by someone halfway through.  

 “Looking back, it wasn’t the smartest race that I’ve ever run, but I think it was it was a good experience overall to be able to go for a goal and not get it but still be happy with the result and just celebrate the team’s efforts of the day,” said Schaefer.   

This meet marked the end of the Midwest Conference for the cross-country team, though seven of them will be competing in regionals on Saturday November 13. This meet brings together the top seven runners from each team in the region to compete for national qualification.  

“I’m not sure where exactly we stack up in terms of nationals,” said Schaefer who will be competing in this meet along with six of her teammates. “I think we’re just going to go out and have to give it our all and that’s going to be exciting no matter what happens.”  

Schaefer noted that the upcoming regional meet will likely be the last one for the seven athletes competing. “We did really well in the Midwest Conference but there’s still more left in the tank,” said Schaefer. “I know that I want to try to have a smarter race than I did last time.”  

Looking back on the cross-country team’s season, Schaefer highlighted the efforts of Sarah Burnell, Head Women’s cross-country coach, in preparing the team for the season.  

The Pioneers will be competing on November 13 at the NCAA Division III Central Region Championships in Rock Island, Illinois. 

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