SLC Cross Country Prepares for the USCAA National Championships
The Silver Lake College of the Holy Family Cross Country team is preparing to compete at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National Championships on Friday, November 8th, in Syracuse, New York. The event is hosted by the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF). The team will have representatives in both the Men’s 8K and Women’s 6K races.
Representing the Laker Men is Brian “BJ” Ropel, a former Mayville High School standout. Ropel, a sophomore, finished in 28th place (29:48) in last year’s national championship race. BJ has been battling injuries this year, but still accomplished season highlights of a 15th place finish at the Ripon College Red Hawk Invitational and a 25th place finish at the Beloit Invitational.
The Laker Women have three team members competing at the national championship race. All three are juniors and include Mary Bettag, Sophia Chin and Taylor Vanden Plas. Mary Bettag, a Sheboygan native (Roncalli High School) competed at last year’s national event and finished 97th (31:08). Bettag’s sensational season included a 10th place finish at the Ripon College Red Hawk Invitational and reducing her time at the 5K distance by 45 seconds from her previous season’s personal best. Sophia Chin, a Manitowoc native (Manitowoc Lincoln), has shown consistent improvement in each of her three seasons. This year, Chin reduced her personal best 5K time by 1:54 and her 6K personal best time by 1:22 from last year’s best times. Taylor Vanden Plas, a New Franken native (Green Bay Preble High School), competed at last year’s national championship and placed 60th (28:05) This year, Vanden Plas garnered a pair of top ten finishes, placing 9th at the Ripon College Red Hawk Invitational and 10th at the Beloit Invitational. Taylor has also reduced her 5K best time by 1:54 and her 6K best time by 1:22 from last year’s best times.
Silver Lake College of Holy Family is proud of our four student-athletes representing the College at the national championships and all 15 members of our Cross Country team who work hard in the classroom and on the cross country course.