Monday Press Conference: Tegen and Edmondson

Wisconsin women's cross country coach Peter Tegen and senior co-captain Hilary Edmondson spoke with the media Monday. The women's cross country team will compete in the Big Ten Championships this weekend in East Lansing, Mich. Tegen, who has coached cross country and track at Wisconsin for 30 years, will retire following the women's track and field season.

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Opening statement by Peter Tegen: We have started obviously, we're in the middle of it, and we are getting just enough fire power to make up a full team and compete, hopefully successfully. Our first two meets were quite satisfactory. The rankings this year nationally look like Michigan State at the moment is ranked fourth. I think Michigan is ranked tenth,  right there about, the new rankings are coming out and you know those rankings are always just rankings. They change when you face reality, and we are in 18th and I think right behind us might be Penn State. So there are a bunch of Big Ten teams right up there. So it's definitely going to be, as usual, very interesting and very competitive. The team is ready to go, and obviously last year we slipped to fifth place and we are hoping that we can definitely improve on that finish from last year.

How have you improved from last year to this year as you head into the Big Ten?

Peter Tegen: We really have improved in a way that just everyone, well most everyone, here now has one more year under their belt and of course last year also we really got hit by the flu. I wish we get those flu shots earlier, so I think we were a lot better last year than fifth place actually. As it eventually showed we were in the top twenty at the nationals again so I think we are in better shape than we were last year.

Hilary how about you, as a senior now, what do you see on this team that maybe is going to help you guys have a better place finish than fifth as you did last year?

Hilary Edmondson

Hilary Edmondson: I think as Peter said with one more year of experience we have a little bit older of a team, so I think everybody was disappointed in last year's finish and it gave them-all of us more fire to really work together and go for the win. I think that's definitely what we're capable of if we're all firing on all cylinders.

Peter, are the rankings an accurate reflection of how you see the Big Ten this year?

Peter Tegen: You know they're definitely not to be over looked, they give you a pretty good flavor of what's going on. Sometimes as you see in so many other sports you know one team gets beat by another unranked team, it just happens all the time. That's of course because of the fact that the rankings cannot be accurate. We don't always know if a certain team has one of their runners out sick or not even running because you don't always know all the personnel of the teams. But they do in general give you a fairly good picture of what kind of quality is to be expected from other teams, often in a pretty good order.

With regard to the fact that this is your last Big Ten meet, is that a big thing, is it right out in front of you right now, or is it something that you kind of put in the back of your mind knowing that you have the track season coming up?

Peter Tegen: No not at all. This is another Big Ten championship and you always go and you better have that attitude into those kind of meets and championships wanting to come out on top. You try to do everything possible, there are just such an incredible amount of site factors that can just make things go awry.

Hilary, are the athletes on this team cognizant of Peter's legacy here and how the fact that this is going to be his last meet as cross country coach, granted again he has the track season coming up, is that a big part of your preparations, if at all?

Hilary Edmondson: You always want to go into each Big Ten Championship and do the best that you can. We are aware of this. We're also aware of the legacy-I mean how can you ignore it? There's been so much success on this team in the past and I think that helps because it gives us pressure knowing that we want to fulfill those footsteps and also Peter's coached us as best as he can and really prepared us. So to do that for him and go out with the win, you always want to do that to show your coach what you've done and how you've prepared us is really working, showing him that we're ready to go.

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