Cross country teams fight sexism with Gender Equity Invite
Sports often become an arena for social issues to be played out on a public stage.
The Pioneer Gender Equity Invitational in Cuba City on Oct. 12 was one such sporting event that brought up the societal issue of gender equality.
This unique style of race, where men and women finish around the same time, brings a different atmosphere to the course. The women start two minutes and 40 seconds after the men with the intention of having runners of both gender running alongside one another finishing around the same times.
The men run an 8000 meter race and women run a 6000 meter race. The meet itself is relatively small with seven teams combined in both men’s and women’s races, but the message of the meet is much greater.
Gender equality is still a concern and continually bringing light to the situation can help bridge the gap between the genders.
With both sexes running simultaneously, runners have more competitors to pace their speed against, which is a key for cross country success.
Head Coach Tom Antczak hopes that future years will bring more teams to the meet.
Both Pioneer teams won the meet as junior Danielle Kunkel was the first person to cross the finish line with a time of 22:07.9. The University of Wisconsin-Platteville juniors Joel Walden (26:34.2) and Sam Poser (26:41.2) were the first men across the line.
The Pioneers return to the course Saturday for the Drews/Neubauer Invite in West Salem.