Alumni Meet kicks off cross country season

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Kayla Heise

Men’s runners take their positions at the starting line of the UW-Platteville Alumni Meet Sept. 7.

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville cross country program saw a record shattered at their annual Alumni Run at the UW-Platteville Campus Course the morning of Saturday, Sept. 7.

Senior Danielle Kunkel, who set the women’s record of 14:35 during the meet, which broke the prior record by 37 seconds.

Kunkel, an Academic All-American, qualified for the NCAA Division III Cross Country National Championships during her sophomore year, which is a goal she hopes to repeat in 2013.

“I would really like to make top two for conference and an All-American time for Nationals,” Kunkel said after her record breaking run Saturday morning.

More than 30 alumni returned to campus to compete in the friendly race to help kick off the upcoming cross country season.

“(The race) is a great way for friends, runners and coaches to reconnect over the years,” assistant coach Andres Young said.

The meet also serves to help Young and head coach Tom Antczak finalize the roster for both the men’s and women’s cross country teams.

The event hosted family, friends and runners, young and old, including two-year cross country alumni runners, Ben Henderson and Amanda Williams.

“I’m really looking forward to the picnic after the race so I can meet with the other alumni and seniors on the team,” Henderson said shortly before the race began.

Williams even had a support group cheering her on along the sidelines that included her husband, cross country alumni Jordan Williams, as well as her three children.

The current Pioneer runners are scheduled to travel to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater this Saturday for their first meet of the season, the Warhawk Invitational.

Running will begin at 10:45 a.m.