McGonigal and Wayne State College Men’s Cross-Country Hopeful for Successful Season

William Anderson, Sports Writer

Liam McGonigal is a senior cross-country runner at Wayne State College, being recruited out of Wood River High School. 

McGonigal was a four-year letter recipient in cross country and track and field having earned All Great Basin Track and Field Honors as a junior and senior. As a freshman, he earned All Great Basin Honors as a cross country runner with a personal best time of 17:06 in cross country. 

McGonigal’s reason for choosing WSC is simple. 

“I wanted to go to a school the size of my town with a similar overall environment,” McGonigal said. “Having grown up with a population of 6,000-7,000 in a larger school with 15,000-20,000 people and have it affect my pressures with school and to have a good balance between school and running. I feel like Wayne has allowed me to grow and have that independence I would have had in Idaho with my parents around.” 

Head Cross Country Coach Marlon Brink looks for athletes with good marks within their sports and their academics. 

“Traditionally when looking locally within Nebraska and Iowa as well as looking outside of there in the NCAA transfer portal such as Titus Kipto,” Brink said. “We look for athletes who have good marks and have what they are looking for academically.” 

McGonigal believes that the team this year has a lot of potential.  

“Our team has a lot of potential this year,” McGonigal said, “a lot of middle-class guys who have worked well over the years without really any underclassman or freshman.”  

With only one freshman in Quinten Dreyer and one new transfer student in Titus Kipto on the roster, this year’s cross country is filled with a mix of sophomores and juniors. 

Expectations for this group are relatively realistic with McGonigal stating that they want to crack the “the top six” and improve over last year.  

“With the work we have done and what I’ve seen in practice,” McGonigal said, “I know what a lot of people saw with our rankings in conference rank us lower. With it being a long season, I think we can make a stab at the bigger teams and do better at regionals than last year.”  

At Regionals in 2021, they finished 27th out of 31 teams. 

The WSC cross country team’s next competition will be in Lincoln at Nebraska – Greeno/Dirksen Invite on Saturday, September 17. There will be a variety of teams from Division I’s Airforce Academy, NAIA’s Bellevue University, Colby CC from Kansas, and two running clubs from the Lincoln area. The race will take place at Eugene Mahoney State Park at its golf Course.