Presentation stops Coach Kline in his tracks

Here’s a feel-good story. When the time came to replace a stop sign in the Kress Events Center parking lot, members of UW-Green Bay Public Safety had an idea — present the old sign to the person who it would provide some sentimental value — Green Bay Cross Country Coach, Mike Kline. It’s been a tradition for 30-plus years for Kline’s runners to slap the sign when they are done with their training runs. Enjoy the photos of the brief presentation.

Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.

Coach Klein Stop Sign Presentation

– Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication

Phoenix cross country runner, Bilitz, featured in Fon du Lac Reporter

“Like the runners he passes tooling around a flagged-mark course, Mitchell Bilitz’s college cross country career has sped past faster than he expected. The former Winnebago Lutheran standout is a senior at UW-Green Bay and entering the final weeks of his collegiate career.” The Fond du Lac Reporter has the story.


Erik Johnson running

Reflection on autism: Green Bay cross country runner Erik Johnson featured in Huntington Post

Green Bay cross country runner Erik Johnson, a senior from Pulaski, Wis. is at the center of a lengthy Huntington Post feature, “Autism Without Fear — Green Bay Edition: Erik Johnson, Time…and a Simpler Answer.” Here’s a few nuggets and a reason to read more.

“…And when you live life on the spectrum, certainty, in a confusing world, becomes a treasured commodity. Erik can rely on the simplicity of a running time. His running time does not have complicated nuances to learn, nor does it contain intimidating context. A running time is what it is. He either beats it, or he doesn’t, and Erik takes great comfort from that. My guilt in uncomfortably pressing him goes away as, in having engaged him so, I have learned something (about how track could possibly be attractive to a spectrum person), and moreover, Erik is clearly happy to have conveyed something so important.”

“If you want to understand who Erik Johnson is, look past the obvious and see the hyper-focus, the mental toughness, and the hard work. He’s a lot of things, but first and foremost, and in the truest sense of the word… He’s an athlete.”

Great weekend to be a Phoenix

It was great to be a Phoenix this past weekend. The women’s volleyball team defeated UW-Milwaukee in straight sets. Men’s soccer blanked Detroit, 2-0. UWGB Junior Mitchell Bilitz earned all-conference honors in men’s cross country, and women’s basketball cruised to a pre-season victory over UW-Oshkosh behind Jen Wellnitz’s 17 points on a perfect 6-for-6 shooting night.

Former UWGB athletes take the Cellcom Marathon Relay title, again

A group of former UWGB cross-country runners took the Cellcom Marathon Relay title for the sixth time. The team, named X-UWGB-XC, has participated in this relay race for 10 years and alumni support crew. Their time was a blistering 2:41:42, which averages out to about 6:11/mile. Team members were Chris Hendricks ’05, Josh Bayer ’05, Seth Bodden ’07, Nate Vandervest ’03 and Kraig Western ’05 ’09. You can see their championship photo here.

Cross country teams, volleyball score in top 10 percent of NCAA academics

As part of the 2015 NCAA Division I Academic Performance Program (APP), both Phoenix cross country programs and the volleyball program were recognized by finishing in the top 10 percent of their respective sports for their high APR scores accumulated during the 2013-14 academic year. It marks the fourth-straight year that the Green Bay women’s cross country program finished in the top 10 percent, the third-straight year the men’s cross country program was recognized and the second-straight year the Phoenix volleyball program finished in the top 10 percent. Multiyear APRs for all Division I sports teams, including the teams receiving public recognition, will be announced May 27. That announcement also will include APP penalties for low-performing teams, teams subject to postseason ineligibility and head coach APRs. For more details.

Bartel posts great time at Boston

Former Green Bay Phoenix cross-country standout Callie Bartel (Human Biology, class of ’09), a Prevea assistant athletics trainer assigned to Phoenix Athletics, beat last year’s time by nearly 10 minutes in finishing Monday’s Boston Marathon in 3:04:59, good enough to place 3,551 overall and a highly respectable No. 239 in the women’s division of the race that attracts marathoners from around the world.

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Other marathon results — Actually, it’s a small world, Boston-wise. Finishing a few minutes and places behind Bartel in the women’s division was Sarah Mahaney, age 33, who happens to be the daughter of our own Jan Snyder of the Provost’s Office. Mahaney finished her first Boston marathon (and only second 26.2-miler ever) in 3:07:22, good for women’s place 307. And, finally, Bob Blihar, an applications director with CIT, ran the inaugural Oshkosh Marathon over the weekend and shaved 28 minutes off his previous best and won his 50+ age group in 3:54:18. Congratulations, all.

Bartel to compete at Boston

It’s the third Monday in April — Patriots’ Day as it’s known in Boston — and the occasion of the annual Boston Marathon. So far, we’ve heard of at least one UW-Green Bay runner who will be competing. Former Phoenix cross-country standout Callie Bartel (Human Biology, Class of ’09) is returning to the race after putting up a 3:13:03 last year, good enough for a very strong 442nd among the women’s finishers on a day when more than 30,000 total runners crossed the line. Bartel is a Prevea assistant athletics trainer assigned to Phoenix Athletics.