WSC runs uphill into a brick wall of competition at Northern Sun

Nathan Pearson, Staff Writer

The young and rebuilding Wayne State cross country teams struggled Saturday against a strong field of competition at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference meet.

The meet was held at the Yankton Trails soccer complex in Sioux Falls. The course was flat and the weather was perfect, allowing for a very fast race. The women’s race was 6k and the men’s was 8k.

Augustana won their ninth consecutive conference championship, running away from the rest of the field with 28 points. Augustana was followed by Moorhead State (47), University of Mary (100), Minnesota-Duluth (105), Minnesota State (119), Winona State (165), Sioux Falls (193), Concordia (235), Northern State (258), Wayne State (303) Southwest Minnesota State (315), and Minot State (324).

Antoine Bardou was the highlight for the WSC men’s team which finished in 10th out of 12 teams.

He ran a career best time of 25:34 to finish in 33rd. Bardou went out with a 4:56 first mile and ran his last mile in 4:54.

Other finishers for WSC were Isaias Solorio in 73rd (27:16), Corbin Lehn in 83rd (27:44), Noah Noeker in 87th (28:14), Kak Ayaj in 93rd (28:41) and Nathan Pearson in 107th (32:27).
“I’m really happy with my time,” Bardou said. “I’m happy with my last mile. I’ve been trying for sub-five minutes on my last mile all year.”

The WSC women’s team finished in 14th while running three freshmen. The University of Mary won the women’s championship with a score of 33 points, followed by Minnesota-Duluth (47), Winona State (117), Moorhead State (117), Augustana (135), Minnesota State (179), St. Cloud State (187), Sioux Falls (191), Northern State (191), Southwest Minnesota State (313) and Wayne State (417).

Finishers for WSC were Andrea DeSimone in 86th (24:01), Lexi Oswald in 107th (25:30), Josephine Peitz in 108th (25:35), Jamie Larson in 110th (25:36), Mary Alderson in (25:56) and Sarah Post in 133rd (31:39).

“It was a career best for me at conference,” DeSimone said. “I wasn’t feeling the greatest, but I’m happy for our other girls. The team has improved a lot this year, stayed positive and cut times. I think we will do better at Regionals.

The cross country team will get two weeks off before the NCAA Regional meet which will be held at the same location. Regionals is the meet in which teams and runners qualify for the NCAA National meet.