By: Jill Wunrow (@JillWunrow)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The Green Bay men's and women's cross country teams will be competing in the 33rd Horizon League Cross Country Championship being held Saturday, Oct. 27 at the Dannehl National Cross Country Course on the UW-Parkside campus in Kenosha, Wis., hosted by UW-Milwaukee.
The meet kicks off with the women's race beginning at 11 a.m. followed by the men's race at 12 p.m. with results and awards to follow.
With Butler being the 14-time defending champion on the men's side and three-time defending champion on the women's side, a new champion will be crowned with the Bulldogs no longer being a member of the Horizon League. Loyola appears to be the favorite on the men's and women's side but the field is wide open with the Phoenix also looking to make some noise in the standings. Loyola finished as the runner-up in the men's race the past five years while the Loyola women were third in 2011 behind Youngstown State after finishing in second in 2009 and 2010.
This season the Phoenix women are having its best season in program history, winning the Falcon Invite Sept. 15 before running to a third-place team finish at the Midwest Open Sept. 8, finishing ahead of in-state and Horizon League rival Milwaukee on the same course the Horizon League Championship will be held.
Green Bay is being led by freshman Sarah Mauel (Green Bay, Wis.) who won the Falcon Invite, finished third at the Midwest Open and ran to a fifth place finish at the UIC opener to kick start her collegiate career. Senior Areanna Lakowske (Sparta, Wis.) has been solid for the Phoenix this year placing second in the Falcon Invite and finishing in the top 10 in both the Midwest Open (8th) and UIC Opener (10th).
"Areanna is very unselfish and humble," said head coach Mike Kline. "It doesn't matter what grade anyone is in, everyone wants everyone else to do their best."
On the men's side, junior Alexander Kimble (Green Bay, Wis.) and sophomore Andrew Sorenson (Onalaska, Wis.) have paced the Phoenix all season with their performances and hope to lead Green Bay to improve on its ninth place finish in 2011.
Kimble finished in 17th place in the UIC Opener while Sorenson was 27th. Kimble and Sorenson finished fifth and sixth respectively in the Falcon Invite while the tandem placed in the top 60 in the field of 122 runners at the Midwest Open.
Saturday's meet will be the third of four held in the state of Wisconsin this season so the Phoenix teams are hoping for a big fan base to cheer them on during the hilly course. Including Green Bay, eight teams will be competing in the men's 8K race while nine teams will be competing in the women's 5K competition.
AWARDS: Awards for both the men's and women's championships will be presented to the first and second place team. Awards for the Horizon All-League Teams will be presented to the top 14 finishers at the championship. The Horizon League Newcomer of the Year Award winners and the Outstanding Performers will be selected based upon performance at each championship.
PARKING: For those planning on traveling to Kenosha to cheer on the Phoenix, parking is available in designated lots (D & E) adjacent to UW-Parkside Sports and Activities Building. Fans are asked to please not use the parking lots on the ground of Petrifying Creek Park.
More information on the Horizon League Championship can be found here.
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