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UTTC runner competes in Cross Country Nationals
11 November 2013

FORT DODGE, IA (UTN) - United Tribes Cross Country runner Wyatt Madplume competed in the 2013 National Junior College Cross Country Championships November 9 in Fort Dodge, IA. The 18 year-old freshman from Browning, MT, finished 189th with a time of 29:18:20. The five-mile race at Kennedy Memorial County Park Golf Course had 298 runners.

      "He was clearly dissatisfied with his performance," said Dan Molnar, United Tribes Cross Country coach. "He was shooting to be up in the top 100."

Wyatt Madplume

      On the otherwise fast course, a windy day caused runners to suffer more than what they initially thought they would, said Molnar.

      "We knew the pace would be fast and Wyatt started off conservatively," said Molnar. "At the beginning he stayed in the mid-pack to save his legs."

      The field moved like an elastic band, according to Molnar, bunching at the turns and stretching-out over the straight sections. Runners from Iowa Central and Central Arizona College led throughout.

      "Wyatt stayed strong but his lack of experience in championship races played a role in that he ran below his true potential," said Molnar.

      The NJCAA is becoming as competitive as the NAIA or NCAA, Molnar observed.

Wyatt Madplume, wearing cap, competing in the Mount Marty Invitational, Yankton, SD. Dan Molnar photo

      Madplume is a member of the Blackfeet Tribe. At United Tribes he is studying environmental pre engineering. His appearance in the national finals is thought to be a first for a United Tribes Cross Country runner.

      "The athletic department is delighted to have a student athlete compete at that level," said Hunter Berg, UTTC Athletic Director. "We're extremely excited and proud that Wyatt qualified and participated in the national meet. It was a nice reward for the work he put-in on a consistent basis."

      Madplume showed significant improvement from the outset of practice in August, Molnar said. He shaved over two-and-one-half minutes from his personal best in the 5-mile distance in just four weeks.

      He qualified for the national meet on October 26 at the Mount Marty Invitational, Yankton, SD, on a course known to be fast. With the temp was just under 40 degrees and little wind, competitive runners in the field led from the gun and the race went out fast.

      "Wyatt stayed a little back, just off the lead pack," said Molnar. "His first two miles, however, were faster than ideal."

      Madplume remained on pace with a fast closing mile to finish 61st in a field of 159 clocking a personal best of 27:41.94.

      "He shows the dedication and talent to become a very good runner," said Molnar. "But he's never trained in the off-season and he only started running at the beginning of this cross country season. He has a good future in front of him."

      Madplume will now begin training over the winter months in preparation for the outdoor track and field season in the spring.

      "We can't wait to see how he does in the track season," said Molnar.


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