Cross country making strides

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On Saturday, the Woody Green/Nebraska invitational cross-country meet concluded with some promising results for both the UND men’s and women’s teams.

The men placed fourth out of six teams to keep a steady pace on the season. The women finished fifth of six teams, which is a drop from their first meet result                of fourth place.

Freshmen Alec Anderson led the men’s team with a final time of 26:12.4 to put him in 16th spot out of the 233 competitors.

“He just ran a nice solid race,” UND coach Clay said.

This is the second consecutive meet which Anderson has placed. At the Bison Open, the freshmen placed seventh overall in the 6K run.

“For the freshmen, that’s the first 8K they’ve ever run; they’re used to 5Ks in high school,” Clay said. “So to make that jump especially on a course like this for his first 8K is a pretty impressive performance for him.”

On the heels of Anderson, Senior Mark Harries finished 17th with a time of 26:14.35. Juniors Catalondo DiDonna and Drew Campbell placed 21st and 24th with final times of 26:28.9 and 26:44.4 to go along with Anderson and Harries solid times. In 27th, fellow junior Ryan Kirkland timed in at 27:06.7, while a 6.7 seconds differential granted Sophomore Connor Danielson 30th. Darin Baltezore took the team’s 7th spot for 32nd place running in at 27:13.4.

“We ran an extremely good race, this is a course that’s probably the toughest course we’ll run outside of the [NCAA Midwest] Regional,” Clay said. “I think we had four people under 27 minutes, two were in the low 26, so when you do that on this course this early in the year, to be running that well is very good.”

The host team, Nebraska, captured first place with a group effort of front-runners led by Wyatt McGuire who seized the medalist honors.

The women also put in their best efforts in Pioneer Park. The results showed that the team has made progress, but the team still has a long way to go. This is their first 6K of the season, placing fifth spot of the six teams present.

Freshmen Janessa Meuleners brought in the first time for the women with 23:46.5 and placed 20th of 204 runners. Along with Meuleners to finish under 25, Sophomore Martha Hubbell finished 22nd overall with 23:46.5.  Junior, Larissa Juelich’s time of 23:55.1 comes in close, but despite her best effort her time placed her just over 25 in the 26th spot.

“It was kind of one of those developmental races for some of those younger people and I was just really pleased with how they ran, everyone competed and ran a really good race,” Clay stated after the meet. “Right now we kind of have a pack of three, then there’s a break, there’s another pack of three, and we just have to get those two packs closer and moving up.”

Lauren Ogg from Creighton University took home third place honors with her time of 22:14.4. Creighton also took home first overall.

With a week break, both UND teams are set to return Oct. 3 for the South Dakota State University Classic. The race is to begin at 10:45 AM in Brookings, S.D.

Allyson Bento is a sports writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]

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