Cross country places 11th and 12th in NSIC meet


Photos by Marlon Brink

The men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the NSIC cross country meet on Saturday in Aberdeen, South Dakota. The women finished 11th and the men finished in 12th place.

Austin Svehla, Staff Writer

The women’s and men’s cross country teams were in action Saturday at the NSIC Championships at Lee Park Golf Course in Aberdeen, South Dakota on a chilly, drizzly day. The women finished in 11th with 323 points, and the men placed 12th with 320 points.

The women edged out Southwest Minnesota State (329 points) and were led by sophomore Molly McCartney, who finished 50th overall in a field of 140 runners with a time of 23:30 on the 6,000-meter course. Freshman Andrea Torres was the next Wildcat finisher in 64th place with a time of 23:57, followed by senior Joan Jelimo (83rd – 24:33).

“The women placed just outside the top 10, where we hoped we would be,” head coach Marlon Brink said. “I thought we had some runners run really well and improve.”

Other WSC women who finished were Kim Lowman (95th – 24:51), Allie Rosener (100th – 25:10), Joana Sato (110th – 25:45), Amanda Mote (114th – 25:49), Brianna Crouch (116th – 25:55), Josephine Peitz (117th – 26:01), Marin Jetensky (120th – 26:07), Hannah Perkins (128th – 26:53) and Payton Birkel (138th – 29:02).

“Molly [McCartney] has ran pretty well all season, and she’s really come on strong towards the end of the season,” Brink said. “Andrea Torres has done really well as a freshman, and I thought getting under 24 minutes on a 6K course was very good for her. Allie Rosener, also, ran really well, finishing as our 5th runner.”

On the men’s side, WSC was led by junior Dylan Kessler, who has been a mainstay as the Wildcats’ top runner this season. Kessler finished the 8K course in a time of 26:16, good for a 55th place finish in a field of 121 runners. Senior Isaias Solorio was the second WSC finisher, placing 69th in a time of 26:44. Sophomore Bailey Peckham finished soon after, grabbing a 76th place finish with a time of 26:55.

“I knew Dylan [Kessler] was a good runner when he came here, but I didn’t know he would be our top runner throughout the season,” Brink said. “He’s really performed at a high level for us, and he’s improved along the way.”

Other WSC men finishers were Bryce Holcomb (85th – 27:09), Brock Hegarty (94th – 27:39), Jesus Arellano (105th – 28:14), Nathan Pearson (108th – 28:29), Jakob Kemper (109th – 28:30) and Nathan Hiemer (110th – 28:36).

“We wanted to finish in the top 10 as a team for the guys as well, so we were a little disappointed,” Brink said. “We did have a couple pretty good performances out there. Bryce Holcomb, who was hurt last season and wasn’t able to run at all, has shown some really strong improvement. It was good to see him as our 4th runner.”

The cross country season will conclude Nov. 17 when the men and women travel to Joplin, Missouri for the NCAA DII Central Regional meet. The men will run the 10,000-meter course at 10 a.m., and the women will follow with their 6,000-meter race at 11:15 a.m.

“There will be some teams at the regional meet that, hopefully, we are able to beat that we weren’t able to beat at conference,” Brink said. “Our goal is, really, to stay healthy and have everyone at the same fitness level we had at conference.”