Sioux Falls, S.D.- After a year off of competition, senior co-captain Trevor Vidlak returned from injury in a huge way for the Nebraska cross country team, placing first at the Augustana Twilight, running a time of 18:18.03. Vidlak’s performance solidified a season opening win for the Husker men’s team, while the women’s team finished second in the 21-team field.
Vidlak was ecstatic after the race, noting that it was a great feeling getting back on the course for the Huskers.
“The main thing was to clean out the cobwebs and get my mentality back for cross country, because it has been almost two years since I have last raced.” Vidlak said, “I think this meet will make us more focused as a team, knowing that we raced really well tonight. We are going to train hard for the next two weeks and try to win at our home meet (Woody Greeno/Nebraska Invitational).”
As impressive as Vidlak’s race was, Nebraska showed its depth on the men’s side as three other runners finished in the top 10. Freshman Joe Harter finished fourth with a time of 19:02.41 while sophomores Jonah Heng and Jacob Olson finished seventh and ninth respectively.
Head Coach David Harris wasn’t surprised with the depth the men’s team showed, noting that the team has had really good practices during the preseason.
“I am not really surprised, they have been training that way in practice.” Harris said, “When I see them training every day like they are, I know they are capable of racing this close. We have a front runner with Trevor right now and we have a really nice pack after that.”
Husker Women Finish Second behind Andrade’s Performance
The Husker women’s team placed second overall behind Augustana College, as NU used a valiant effort by senior co-captain Isabel Andrade. Andrade placed fourth overall, running a time of 16:55.70, while NU placed three other runners in the top 16.
“I thought the women’s team did real well, they were facing a really good team in Augustana, and I think our team responded to Isabel’s great start really well.” Harris said, “It is a fun group to work with, they are all working hard.”
NU also saw stellar performances by freshman Kristi Oslund, as she ran a blistering time of 17:14.39, finishing 12th. Junior co-captain Sarah Larson placed 14th with a time of 17:19.89, while junior Jessica Wright placed 16th with a time of 17:27.11.
Harris noted that he was pleasantly surprised to see Oslund perform at such a high level in her first collegiate meet, mentioning that she has battled through some allergies that has hindered some of her practice work load.
“Kristi Oslund really surprised me because she has been hurting so bad with her allergies, so I didn’t know if she could breathe in this race, so she was a really big surprise tonight.” Harris said.
Freshmen Shine in their Opening Meet, Thank Captains for their Leadership
After signing a tremendous 2012 recruiting class, the Nebraska cross country team is starting to see the potential in the young group of Huskers.
NU placed three true freshman in the top 20 at Augustana, with Harter finishing fourth and Christian Martin placing 19th on the men’s team, while Oslund placed 12th on the women’s side.
Oslund especially could be a potential star for the Husker women, as NU needs to find depth on the women’s side. Kristi noted after the race that she felt great during the meet, even though she did not know what to expect once it started.
“My first collegiate meet went really well, I was pleased with my performance and was happy with my time.” Oslund said, “I didn’t know what to expect, so I just focused on who was around me and stayed relaxed.”
Oslund later added that the captains of the women’s team—Andrade, Larson and Sarah Plambeck, have really helped out the freshman so far during the season, creating a family like environment.
“All of the captains have been so supportive and positive, they encourage me every step of the way and it really feels like a team.” Oslund said, “We are like a family in a sense.”
The Nebraska cross country team will take a week off of competition as they prepare for their lone home meet of the season. NU will host the Woody Greeno/Nebraska Invitational at Pioneers Park in Lincoln on Sept. 21. The women will start at 10 am with the men’s race following.