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HomeSportCollegeNate Bilben makes cross country debut at UW-Eau Claire

Nate Bilben makes cross country debut at UW-Eau Claire

On Saturday, September 19, 2022 Wm. Kelley High School graduate Nate Bilben ran in his debut cross country race as a UW Eau Claire Blugold at the St. Olaf Invitational. The meet was held on the campus of St. Olaf in Northfield, WI, the same location as the MSHSL State Cross Country race Nate ran in last November. This race, though, was the longer 8K (4.97 miles) distance, which is standard for men’s collegiate races, versus the 5K (3.1miles) that is standard in high school.

 Nate qualified for the UWEC Men’s Cross Country team back in August when he competed against 30 other runners for the coveted 24 spots on the team. The Blugolds, coached by Dan Schwamberger, have a successful record in D-III competition. They were NCAA National Champions in 2015, along with an Outdoor Track National Champion title in 2019. Coach Schwamberger has coached 15 NCAA All-American men, including Darin Lau as the National Individual Champion in 2017. Nate has the opportunity to run with Darin’s younger brother Dan, who is a Senior at UWEC this year.

The Blugolds finished 3rd at the St. Olaf Invitational. Nate’s 29:00 time placed him 163 out of 327 runners, putting him right in the middle of the pack. The race started at 11:00 am, and was a humid 72 degrees. Nate has been able to acclimate to warmer running Nate Bilben makes cross country debut at UW-Eau Claire “The weather wasn’t too bad, but that jump to an 8K race is challenging,” Nate said after the race. The Blugolds next meet is Friday, September 30th in Colfax, WI. This is considered a home race for the team. Nate’s goal for this race is to stick with his teammates to get him closer to breaking the 28 minute mark.

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