Governor Shumlin to refocus state’s relationship with UVM

first_imgUniversity of Vermont,Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin gave the following address regarding the state of Vermont’s relationship with the University of Vermont. The public policy initiative, which would include the state college system, is to better focus the limited financial resources the state has into ‘maximum return on investment,’ as the governor put it, with particular focus on advancing science, engineering, technology and mathematics education.To this end, he announced a working group comprised of prominent Vermonters with ties to UVM and led by Nick Donofrio, a former top executive at IBM in Vermont. They are charged with identifying key issues between the state and the university and making recommendations that will be presented to the governor and the new UVM president next July. UVM Interim President John Bramley is also a member of the group.Shumlin made his remarks Tuesday afternoon at the Hoehl Gallery at the UVM College of Medicine.Remarks by Governor Peter ShumlinUniversity of VermontNovember 8, 2011Good afternoon and thank you for being here. I am here today on the University of Vermont campus to talk about the future of the university and its essential relationship with the state of Vermont. This is a topic that means a lot to me. I am convinced that Vermont can become known nationally as the Education State in the coming years, and that UVM will play a critical role in that evolution.To be clear, the state of higher education in Vermont is already strong. In addition to UVM, our state colleges and independent colleges consistently rank among the top in the nation. Young Vermonters and students from across the country are receiving a world-class education right now in the Green Mountain State. These schools have a $3 billion impact annually on Vermont’s economy.Since my focus today is on UVM, let me say a few words specifically about the University and its unique role in our state. UVM is a state treasure and a huge asset. It is the state’s only research university, contributing $1 billion a year to our economy. It retains and graduates Vermont students at record rates, and attracts thousands of young from across the nation and the world to study and live here. Its research and knowledge creation is key to Vermont’s future. Nearly 30,000 UVM graduates live and work here, contributing every day to our state’s quality of life.Just take a look at UVM’s vision and mission and you will hope, like I do, that the University succeeds in fulfilling them for the benefit of its students, our state, and our nation.UVM’s vision is, and I quote, ‘To be among the nation’s premier small research universities, preeminent in our comprehensive commitment to liberal education, environment, health, and public service.’The university’s mission is ‘To create, evaluate, share, and apply knowledge and to prepare students to be accountable leaders who will bring to their work dedication to the global community, a grasp of complexity, effective problem-solving and communication skills, and an enduring commitment to learning and ethical conduct.’Look around Vermont right now, and you will find the spirit of this mission hard at work. This University produces one of the best trained workforces in the country. Some of you may have heard of UVM graduates Briar and Adam Alpert. Their father, a UVM faculty member, founded BioTek Instruments, a cutting-edge manufacturer of medical equipment right here in Vermont. Briar and Adam have since taken over the company, and as creative entrepreneurs, they have made BioTek one of the best places to work in the state and business has thrived.Similarly, Steve Arms is the founder, President and CEO of MicroStrain, a company which develops and manufactures miniature sensors. Andrew Meyer has been busy since he graduated from UVM, founding the Center for an Agricultural Economy and helping to usher in a new era of innovative, value-added agriculture in Vermont. Other Vermont business leaders produced by this University include Jan Blittersdorf, President and CEO of NRG Systems, David Blittersdorf, President and CEO of AllEarth Renewables, Janette Bombardier, head of IBM’s Essex Plant, and the Pizzagalli brothers, leaders of PC Construction, one of the nation´s largest employee-owned contractors. UVM graduate Rich Tarrant is CEO and founder, with his two brothers, Jerry and Brian ‘ also graduates of the university — of Internet software firm MyWebGrocer. The list is endless.Because the futures of UVM and the state of Vermont are inextricably linked, I believe it is both appropriate and timely to take a hard look at the relationship between the state and the university. Vermont has always had limited resources to fund higher education in general and UVM in particular ‘ a reality made more stark by the continuing recession and the devastating impact of Tropical Storm Irene.The limited state resources we have available must be invested in Vermont’s only research university in strategically focused ways that have the maximum return on investment for Vermont and Vermonters. We have debated how UVM is funded and governed, but not taken action in nearly 60 years. The time to do so is now, with a strong sense of creativity, common sense, and focus on what is good for the future of both the state and the university.Before I lay out a proposal to examine the important relationship between the state and UVM, let me offer a brief historical context.The University of Vermont became public in 1955. At that time, there was no Vermont State College System and no Vermont Student Assistance Corporation. Since 1955, state funds for UVM have been spent in three basic ways: tuition offsets for Vermonters, support for the College of Medicine, and funding for Agricultural services. This year’s state appropriation was about $40 million, with an additional $1.8 million for capital expenditures. While these public dollars represent a small fraction of the combined revenues that support UVM’s $600 million plus operation, both UVM officials and I believe that it is very important that these funds be invested wisely and strategically to advance Vermonters job opportunities.I have made no secret of my concerns about some of the spending priorities UVM has made in recent years. Those concerns have been widely reported in the press, and I stand by those observations. I have said throughout some of these recent controversies, however, that my interest is not in criticizing the University for the sake of argument, but because I believe, working together, we can devise strategies for spending state dollars that produce better results for UVM, for our business community, and for the state.I believe these spending strategies should focus on a set of priorities that require making some hard long-term choices. These priorities include:â ¢ Preparing students for the jobs of the future by providing greater focus on the sciences, engineering, technology and mathematics.â ¢ Connecting the power of the research university and its educational programs to support and expand partnerships in the state’s business sector and economy.â ¢ Maintaining and innovating the essential infrastructure in agriculture that supports our economy and way of life, and fosters Vermont’s bright future as a quality food producer.â ¢ Supporting the transition to a health care system that contains costs, takes the burden off employers and strengthens health care delivery to keep Vermonters healthy.â ¢ Capitalizing on UVM’s leadership in environmental and complex systems ‘ systems that address one of my top priorities, the reality of our changing climate – by expanding its academic programs and offerings in climate change. I have long believed that the University can become a top national leader in this arena and am optimistic about the entrepreneurial opportunities in confronting climate change.â ¢ Preparing our students not only to get good jobs in Vermont when they graduate from UVM, but also for students to go out and create those good jobs as burgeoning entrepreneurs.â ¢ Collaborating with the Vermont State Colleges to ensure that our system of higher education is maximizing opportunities for students, limiting duplication, and increasing access, particularly for first generation college students.Since John Bramley became Interim President at UVM this summer, he and I have been engaged in a dialogue about these priorities and the relationship between the University and the state. While we may not agree on all issues regarding that relationship, I believe John and I share very similar views about the need to take a hard and realistic look at how we work together in the coming years and decades.Specifically, John and I agree that the current situation is not sustainable for the University or its students. We can do a better job of investing scarce state dollars in the disciplines and research that will be the economic engines of the next century. In my view, we are falling short of our goal of maximizing our return on state investment.A new strategy is needed, and today I am announcing a framework for developing that strategy.I have asked a group of eight highly skilled individuals with expertise in a wide range of disciplines, all of whom have deep ties with Vermont or the University of Vermont, to serve as an advisory group that develops ways to maximize the relationship between the University and the state.This group will be asked to examine a set of key issues related to that relationship, and provide recommendations to me and the incoming President of the University by July of next year. Their areas of focus will include, but not be limited to, the following areas:1. The differing roles of the University of Vermont and the Vermont State Colleges, and the implications and opportunities for program consolidation, reduction in duplication, and cost savings.2. Opportunities for public investment in high state priority programs and targeted scholarships at UVM with maximum return on investment, such as science, technology, engineering, and math.3. Directed scholarships in certain disciplines, incentives to stay in Vermont or return to Vermont.4. Other alternative, strategic approaches to focus and strengthen the relationship between UVM and Vermont for mutual benefit, including maximizing spires of excellence, innovation and job growth.The goal of this process is to engage in a strategic, data-driven dialogue that leads to specific, workable, and realistic outcomes.The group will meet regularly, both in person and virtually, and submit their recommendations to me and to the new UVM president taking office next summer. It will include the following individuals:â ¢ Nick Donofrio, chair. Nick is an innovator and entrepreneur and is the former Executive Vice President for Innovation and Technology at IBM and former General Manager of IBM’s plant in Essex.â ¢ Deb Granquist. Deb is a former banker and retired attorney who runs a consulting company to support non-profits. She is active in philanthropy and civic affairs and chairs several local and state boards.â ¢ Bill Wachtel. Bill is a UVM grad, attorney and founding partner of Wachtel & Masyr in New York. He is also the founder of several progressive organizations such as ‘Why Tuesday?, a non-partisan organization to increase voter turnout.â ¢ Peggy Williams. Peggy is President Amerita of Ithaca College and also served as President of Lyndon State College. Another UVM graduate, she holds several leadership positions in national organizations and promotes volunteerism, sustainability, diversity, and civil rights.â ¢ Emerson Lynn. Emerson is the editor-co-publisher of The St. Albans Messenger and co-publisher of The Milton Independent, The Essex Reporter and The Colchester Sun.â ¢ Bill Gilbert. Bill has served as a Trustee of the University of Vermont and has also served Vermont in a variety of notable public positions including Secretary of Administration for the late Gov. Richard Snelling.â ¢ Alma Arteaga. Alma is a junior at UVM majoring in Economics and Environmental Policy and Development and is active on issues impacting UVM and its students.â ¢ John Bramley will also serve as an ex-oficio member of the group.I am confident that these eight outstanding leaders in their fields will produce a thoughtful, provocative, compelling set of recommendations that the state and the University can implement in a timely manner.Let me close by reiterating my strong belief that the partnership between the University of Vermont and the state of Vermont is one that will continue to strengthen in the years ahead. UVM is an essential part of the Vermont culture, economy, and identity and will remain a top priority of the state of Vermont for my administration and many administrations to come.It is with tremendous optimism that I propose this re-examination of the relationship between the state and the University. We have a great opportunity to strengthen an already vibrant relationship. Working together, we will seize it.- 30 –last_img read more

Visa Foundation donates $4.5 million to help fight homelessness and poverty

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Helping underserved communities around the globe has been the focus of the Visa Foundation since it launched two years ago. In North America, we are applying the principles of the Visa Foundation to our local communities, starting with the San Francisco Bay Area, which has been the home to Visa for more than 60 years.The Bay Area is facing a poverty and homeless crisis. Recent estimates show that more than 35,000 homeless people live in all nine Bay Area counties — a 24% increase over 2017 – and 1.7 million people in the Bay Area are unable to meet their basic needs. In some communities, only three in 10 students graduate from college and three in four homeless youth come from foster care or the juvenile justice system.We at Visa recognize that something has to change, and it is our responsibility to give time and resources back to our neighbors. In that spirit, Visa and the Visa Foundation have made the decision to support two leading local organizations in a variety of ways, The Tipping Point Community which works with 50 local NGOs across six Bay Area counties to educate, employ and house those in need; and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), which provides medical and mental health services to homeless and at-risk populations through local hospitals, clinics and roving medical teams.The Visa Foundation is donating $3M to Tipping Point to provide vulnerable communities with pathways to economic opportunity, and $1.5M to UCSF to fund mental health programs for at-risk youth and chronically homeless populations. My colleagues – Oliver Jenkyn, President, North America recently joined the board of Tipping Point, and Ryan McInerney, President, Visa Inc. has been on the Executive Council of UCSF since April 2018. continue reading »last_img read more

Indonesia’s palm oil exports drop 19% in first two months

first_img“Lower exports to China was likely a result of the COVID-19 outbreak while lower exports to Africa was likely caused by high prices,” the association said in a statement issued on Tuesday.Read also: In Papua, forests offer more economic benefits than oil palm plantations, research finds“Meanwhile, [we] projected lower exports to India occurred as importers were hesitant to make buying contracts following the plan to limit palm oil imports by India’s government.”Gapki data show the palm oil stockpile stood at 4.08 million tons by the end of February, down from 4.54 million tons at the end of January.The palm oil industry is one of Indonesia’s major foreign exchange earners, contributing US$3.5 billion until February to non-oil and gas exports.Editor’s note: The article has been revised to include the correct figures for palm oil exports in January-February 2019 and in consequence, the percentage decline in exports.Topics : Indonesia’s palm oil exports, including oleochemicals and palm oil kernel, dropped nearly 19 percent in the January to February period driven by lower exports to China as the coronavirus pandemic took a toll on the country’s top export commodity.The Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (Gapki) said palm oil exports in the first two months of this year were at 4.93 million tons, a 1.2 million ton decrease from 6.13 million tons shipped in the same period last year.Palm oil exports to major market China nosedived by 500,000 tons compared to the same period last year, while exports to India fell by 188,000 tons and exports to Africa were down by 250,000 tons.last_img read more

Trump-touted hydroxychloroquine shows no benefit in COVID-19 prevention: Study

first_imgIn the study of 125 participants, four who had taken hydroxychloroquine as a preventative treatment for eight weeks contracted COVID-19, and four on placebo tested positive for the virus.All eight were either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms that did not require hospitalization, according to the results published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal.The research shows that routine use of the drug cannot be recommended among healthcare workers to prevent COVID-19, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania said.The study authors said it was possible that a trial conducted in a community with higher prevalence of the disease could allow detection of a greater benefit from the drug.In the latest trial, which was terminated before it could reach its enrollment target of 200 participants, mild side effects such as diarrhea were more common in participants taking the malaria drug compared to placebo. Topics : A malaria drug taken by US President Donald Trump to prevent COVID-19 did not show any benefit versus placebo in reducing coronavirus infection among healthcare workers, according to clinical trial results published on Wednesday.The study largely confirms results from a clinical trial in June that showed hydroxychloroquine was ineffective in preventing infection among people exposed to the new coronavirus.Trump began backing hydroxychloroquine early in the pandemic and told reporters in May he started taking the drug after two White House staffers tested positive for COVID-19. Studies have found the drug to offer little benefit as a treatment.last_img read more

Nacho Monreal posts emotional farewell to Arsenal fans after sealing transfer

first_imgMonreal has returned to Spain (Picture: Getty)Nacho Monreal issued an emotional goodbye to Arsenal and the fans ahead of the club’s North London derby against Tottenham.The left-back joined Real Sociedad this weekend, ending a six-and-a-half-year spell with the Gunners.Monreal was told his opportunities this season would be limited once summer signing Kieran Tierney was fully fit and decided to return to Spain.The 33-year-old posted a message on social media on Sunday and explained the best option for his family was to join a new club.ADVERTISEMENT Nacho Monreal posts emotional farewell to Arsenal fans after sealing transfer Coral BarrySunday 1 Sep 2019 3:03 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link510Shares SPONSORED Top articles About Connatix V67539 Comment Manchester United captain Harry Maguire Rio Ferdinand tells Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop struggling Coming Next Monreal’s last game for Arsenal was against Liverpool (Picture: Getty)‘Different country, city, language, football style, team-mates, where it’s not the best conditions for a shy person as me, but I knew I have to be there!‘Almost seven years later it’s time to say goodbye, it hasn’t been an easy decision, but thinking of my family and my future it feels that it is the right decision.‘I would like to say thank you to all my team mates, staff, and all the people who work for Arsenal and especially to the fans for all the respect and love they have always shown me.‘I’ll always remember you. THANKS. P.S. Now it’s time to win the North London Derby.’MORE: Arsenal legend Martin Keown tells Unai Emery what formation to pick against TottenhamMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City Advertisement He wrote: ’31st January, 2013. Malaga. I wake up, check my phone and have two calls from Santi Cazorla. I call him and he asks me if I want to play for Arsenal.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘Ten hours later I was an Arsenal player. Sometimes football is simple. Visit Advertiser website GO TO PAGE / Read More by Metro Read More Full Screen 1/1 Read More Skip Ad Video Settings 1 min. story Read More PLAY Skip Read More Advertisementlast_img read more

​Coronavirus: Premier League and EFL ban pre-match handshakes

first_img “Coronavirus is spread via droplets from the nose and mouth and can be transmitted on to the hands and passed on via a handshake.” Read Also:‘Near-isolation’ – coronavirus throws S. Korea Olympic plans into chaos A statement from the English Football League said: “Whilst the government guidance does remain unchanged, a decision has been taken on medical advice and as a precautionary measure.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted ContentWhat’s Up With All The Female Remakes?What Happens To Your Brain When You Play Too Much Video Games?A Guy Turns Gray Walls And Simple Bricks Into Works Of Art6 Incredibly Strange Facts About Hurricanes5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks6 TV Characters Whose Departures Have Made The Shows Better10 Phones That Can Easily Fit In The Smallest Pocket40 Child Stars Who Look Incredibly Gorgeous As AdultsCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?Top 10 Most Romantic Nations In The WorldA Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic Bombs Loading… Premier League and EFL have said pre-match handshakes between both teams and officials will not take place until further notice because of fears over the spread of coronavirus, reports BBC Sport. The teams will still line up as usual but the home team will walk past the away side without shaking hands. A statement on the Premier League’s website said: “The Premier League fair-play handshake will not take place between players and match officials from this weekend until further notice based on medical advice.Advertisementlast_img read more

French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel le Graet tells chairmen to shut up

first_imgPARIS: French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel le Graet on Sunday said a call by Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas to annul the season was “ridiculous, stupid, clumsy and inappropriate.”He also told Aulas and other club officials to stop bickering during the coronavirus epidemic which has forced the cancellation of all the competitions French clubs are in.On Friday, Aulas told Le Monde newspaper: “The most logical thing would be to say: we’ll cancel everything and go back to the situation at the start of the season.”On Saturday, he tweeted that “Karren Brady, vice-chairman of West Ham, foresees that the Premier League will be canceled.”Le Graet joined the chorus of opposition on Sunday on French television.”I don’t want any controversy. It’s the French Football Federation that will decide if it continues or not, the only enemy today is the virus,” he said.In his Le Monde interview, Aulas, a member of the FFF executive committee, called for a “blank season”, with no title at the end.Lyon’s great rivals Paris Saint-Germain are on course for another title. They are 12 points ahead of second-placed Marseille.There would be no relegation, said Aulas, who represents Ligue 1 clubs on the French league (LFP) committee, to prevent “those at the bottom of the table” taking legal action.Aulas also said the Champions League places should be “allocated to the same clubs as last season”.After finishing third last season, Lyon is struggling in seventh place, 10 points off a Champions League place.Marseille president Jacques-Henri Eyraud responded in a column for the Journal du Dimanche condemning “the obscenity (of an) opportunistic proposal” and “the selfishness of someone whose only compass is his participation in the Champions League”.Le Graet said the FFF executive committee would decide.”There’s an executive committee at the French Football Federation and it’s this executive committee that will decide,” Le Graet said. “So all the interviews that are done on the left or on the right, where people want to shine or not shine, don’t matter.””I find it quite ridiculous, stupid, clumsy and inappropriate to what’s happening,” he added, asking the two club presidents “to calm down and be dignified in their statements, which make no sense and don’t make them any bigger.”The FFF, he said, was “in the real fight. The other fight – who’s playing in a European Cup – is stupid.” AgenciesAlso Read: Health more important than football: ATK coach Antonio Lopez HabasAlso Watch: East Siang District Administration in Arunachal Pradesh cautious over corona viruslast_img read more

Lloyd ‘Blades’ Wallace – Essequibo’s most accomplished Curator

first_imgBy Elroy StephneyDESPITE not having any formal training in the art of preparing cricket pitches, Lloyd Wallace became Essequibo’s most enduring and successful curator spanning over a decade.Formerly from Hampton Court on the Essequibo Coast, he lived just a few yards from the famous Kayman Sankar cricket ground. The venue then provided the opportunity for him to expose his talent as an employee of the firm where he spent over 15 years.In an exclusive interview with Chronicle Sport, the strongly built yet affable Lloyd Wallace was happy to reminisce on his sojourn as one of the best in the Caribbean as he put it. “I was rated by former International Umpire Billy Doctrove from Dominica as being one of the best in the Region”..“In my time, I was privileged to have prepared quality pitches for Red Stripe, Shell Shield and Inter-county matches and received quite favourable commendations from the players,” he added.“The Kayman Sankar ground became my home because I loved my task and it was done through consistently hard work, sacrifice and dedication towards a sport that I loved dearly,” emphasised the 51-year-old veteran who is one of ten brothers, five of whom represented Essequibo at the Inter-county level, namely Trenton Peters, Orin Wallace, Aubrey Wallace, Derick Wallace and Clifford Wallace.In fact, Lloyd Wallace also represented Essequibo in softball at the inter-county stage and was among the finest behind the stumps locally. “I was nick-named Blades because I was so sharp behind the wicket,” he acknowledged with some degree of satisfaction.Back on the pitch, ‘Blades’ was a monumental figure at the ground where he would studiously and repetitively arrange his equipment to undergo a rigorous job that required intense concentration and attention.There was never a dull moment witnessing him in action and he was an expert at his trade that he mastered without tutoring.“I was never exposed to training. My instinct, on-the-job experience and constant exposure to mud, water, roller, paint and brush were all that I needed to understand my role as a groundsman,” he responded.He shared the following memory with a real sense of pride. “I remember preparing the pitch for the likes of Brian Lara, Curtly Ambrose, Joel Garner, Richie Richardson, Phil Simmons, Ian Bishop, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Clayton Lambert among others and I felt honoured to be doing so for my heroes,” he boasted.“I recalled Trinidad and Tobago defeating Guyana in a Red Stripe match in the late 1990s when the great Brian Lara was Man-of-the-Match, scoring 67 runs. I was also proud of the Essequibo Under-16 team winning against Demerara in the Neville Sarjoo tournament.”“These are memories that I will forever etch in my heart as I played a role in providing an environment in which all were satisfied and much to the delight of the fans as well.”Upon reflection, the popular ‘Blades’ would single out Rovendra Mandolall, Jermain Jones, Dinesh Joseph, Ray Reid and Delvin Austin among others whose talent he witnessed right at the ground as being promising cricketers while his brother Trenton Peters, Jaimini Singh, Orin Belfield and Mark Stephney were good during his time.He has since expressed gratitude to the Kayman Sankar Group of Companies for their tremendous support as well as Kayman and Beni Sankar who were pioneers of the game in Essequibo.Wallace who is married and has four children, now resides in La Belle Alliance. He has since become an entrepreneur and security officer, but was quick to reveal that he is willing to share his experience with the Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB) and local clubs, even as he noted that the standard of preparing pitches now is very poor since much more education and guidance is needed for the art to develop and succeed.While the Hampton Court ground no longer exists and the towering figure of ‘Blades’ does not perform duties, he will be remembered as Essequibo’s most celebrated curator.last_img read more

Chidi Okenwa for Burial Today

first_imgFamily members have confirmed that the body of Okenwa, who was also Chairman of the Nigeria National League and Chairman of the Enugu State Football Association before his death, would be taken to Saint Stephen’s Methodist Church before final internment.The Nigerian Football family continues to mourn a diligent, industrious and cerebral administrator, who exemplified simplicity and humanity in everything he did, and approached tasks and projects with gusto, humility and the adorable spirit of a team player.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram The remains of the Member of NFF Executive Committee, Hon. Chidi Ofo Okenwa, who died on Tuesday, 5th May 2020 after a brief illness, will be interred at his country home, Obinagu Uno Akpugo in the Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State today.A wake held at his family compound in Obinagu Uno Akpugo yesterday, preparatory to be final burial of one of the most charismatic and eloquent football administrators Nigeria has ever produced.Football administrators, government functionaries, stakeholders, friends and family members were on hand Tuesday, as a service of songs was held in his honour at his Akutu Crescent, Independence Layout, Enugu residence.last_img read more

Cross country ready for ISU

first_imgA week after a relatively easy team victory and racing to a perfect team score in its first meet of the season at Northern Illinois University Invitational, the Wisconsin women’s cross country team, ranked 13th in the USTFCCCA Preseason National Rankings, returns to action this weekend at Iowa State University.While their initial meet offered challenges of its own, such as rain and atrocious course conditions, this weekend’s meet will see the Badgers go toe-to-toe with some national powerhouses, including the Colorado Buffaloes, ranked No. 6 in their region and No. 23 nationally. They will also face off against Oklahoma State, which is also ranked No. 6 in its respective region.  UW head coach Jim Stintzi notes the course should be rather challenging.  “The course should be pretty tough at ISU, with the earlier stages of the race being fairly flat, but with hills kicking in during the second half of the race when all the runners will be the most fatigued,” Stintzi said. “It should be a good preview of the course layouts for some of our bigger meets down the road, such as the Big Ten Championships, the Great Lakes Regional Meet and the National Meet.”Stintzi believes the team’s ability to react to poor conditions at NIU and still race well will suit it well when adverse weather strikes later on in the season and is happy his team had to overcome such an event early on. Stintzi also believes the Badgers will be rolling into their meet in Ames, Iowa with some confidence.When discussing what he hopes the team will take out of its opener at NIU, Stintzi said they need to compete as a unit, rather than against each other.“Running as a team needs to improve, as each runner ran too much as an individual,” Stintzi said. “This is common early on in the season when everyone is fighting for a spot on the traveling squad. … We need to learn how to run with more a pack mentality and work together as a cohesive unit in races.”Individually, junior top runner Hanna Grinaker has multiple goals for this meet.  “On an individual level, I would like to get a better feel for cross country racing, as last week was far from typical as far as weather and course conditions go,” Grinaker said. “I hope to be near the front of the race, maintain a positive mindset throughout the race and contend for a top spot overall.”Grinaker is also excited about the team’s chemistry as the season progresses.  “The team is gelling extremely well,” Grinaker said. “All of the girls are really close and extremely positive people.  We all genuinely want the best for one another.”Senior Gwen Jorgensen sees the meet as a huge steppingstone for the team and an early progression gauge.  “Each meet builds in importance from here,” Jorgenson said. “Pre-Nationals, Big Tens, Regionals and Nationals. Saturday will be a good test in determining our potential as a team come November.” While the meet on Saturday will not make or break the Badger’s season, it will be a huge day for the talented freshman class to prove itself under the heat of tough competition as well as a chance for Coach Stintzi to see what his team is made of.  The Badgers will be thrown into the fire this week at ISU and hope to walk away calloused and tough, prepared for even tougher battles that lie ahead.last_img read more