Now Orie finds herself in the middle of a major project that’s endured for more than two decades and brought a lot of frustration to the program. The last time the Badgers won the Big Ten women’s cross country crown was in 2000, which finished off a run of six consecutive titles. Since then, UW has finished second four times and third three times. Five of those top-three showings have come since 2017.
Lindsay Crevoiserat, the UW assistant coach who oversees the women’s distance corps for program director Mick Byrne, expects a duel with Michigan State and believes a team title for the Badgers is very realistic.
“On paper we’re very similar teams,” she said. “It’s just who’s going to have a better day.”
Wisconsin has the home course advantage – the Big Ten men’s and women’s meets will be held at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course in Verona on Oct. 27 – but the proper level of energy has to be there.
“Everyone has to run to their ability,” Crevoiserat said.
“I would absolutely love to be a part of that scoring,” Orie said. “With the depth that we have, it’s undeniably a possibility. If we could make that happen, I’d be so happy.”
One of the strengths for UW is its quality depth. Thirteen runners have at least one top-five effort among team finishers this season. Orie has three, while nine others have two such showings. Four are grad students: Vivian Hacker of Madison; Victoria Heiligenthal of Milford, Mich., Maya Raley of Portland, Ore., and Lexi Westley of Washington, N.J.
“I have a lot of leadership on this team,” Crevoiserat said.
One of those guides is Orie, who approaches running the same way she attacks her studies.
“She’s someone who wants to be the best,” Crevoiserat said. “She’s always asking how she can be better.”
How did Orie get so smart?
“It’s not the smartness,” she said. “It’s the work ethic it takes to be smart. I have to study a lot. I have to work for everything I get.”