Cross country women finish 6th, men 8th at Briar Cliff Invite

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Austin Svehla, Staff Writer

The men’s and women’s cross country teams were in action for the second straight week this past Saturday, competing at the Briar Cliff Invite in McCook Lake, South Dakota. The women finished 6th out of 14 teams with 168 points and the men finished 8th out of 12 scoring 157 points.

“We really had a great meet I felt like,” head coach Marlon Brink said. “Almost everybody either had a personal best or a season best and that doesn’t happen too often. The conditions were almost perfect for racing.”

The women’s 6th place finish was led by sophomore Molly McCartney, who ran a time of 18:48 on the 5K course to finish 9th overall in a field of 166 runners. Freshman Andrea Torres was the next WSC woman to finish, coming in 32nd place with a time of 19:30, followed by junior Kim Lowman, whose time of 19:39 earned a 39th place finish.

“[McCartney] is really starting to find her form and get into the kind of shape that we know she’s capable of,” Brink said. “It was exciting to see her have a good race and finish in the top 10 against a good field.”

Other WSC women who finished were Allie Rosener (49th – 19:53), Joan Jelimo (50th – 19:56), Amanda Mote (97th – 20:59), Josephine Peitz (98th – 21:02), Hannah Perkins (103rd – 21:15), Brianna Crouch (116th – 21:43), Marin Jetensky (118th – 21:46), Payton Birkel (147th – 23:07), and Sabrina Sack (149th – 23:08).

For the men, junior Dylan Kessler was the top WSC finisher on the 8K course with a time of 26:08, good for a 12th place finish in the 145-man field. Senior Isaias Solorio and sophomore Bailey Peckham finished 29th and 30th respectively, each notching times of 26:46.

“We kind of expected runners to run faster on this course just because it was a really flat course,” Brink said. “[Kessler] has been a real consistent performer and he’s got that experience that’s definitely been a benefit for him.”

Other WSC men finishers were Brock Hegarty (51st – 27:20), Nathan Hiemer (81st – 28:12), Nathan Pearson (83rd – 28:12), Bryce Holcomb (84th – 28:15), Garrett Wells (89th – 28:25), Jesus Arellano (92nd – 28:30), and Jakob Kemper (98th – 29:05).

The Wildcats do not have a meet this week but will return to action Oct. 20 at the Mount Marty Invite in Yankton, South Dakota, where the women will run at 10 a.m. and the men at 10:45 a.m.

“The week in between meets is really a chance to get a solid week of training in,” Brink said. “All the work outs should start to pay off for them here in the last half of the season and they should hopefully see even faster times in the coming weeks.”