Photo by Matt Beisel
by Keaton Burgess
Both of the men’s and women’s cross country teams placed in the top five at the Briar Cliff XC Invite on Friday as the men finished 2 out of 12 teams and the women finished 4 out of 11 teams.
“I am very pleased with how the teams did. After weeks of intense training at high-volume, which most of our athletes were still feeling the effects of, we were able to go out and accomplish our teams’ goals, which was to be the top NAIA team at the meet,” Coach Matt Beisel said. “They ended up accomplishing that and a number of kids ran their personal best as well.”
Sophomore Rylee Haecker led the bulldogs in the women’s 5-kilometer race finishing 20 out of 130 competitors. Haecker finished in a time of 18 minutes 54 seconds. Following Haecker was sophomore Grace Reiman with a time of 19 minutes 6 seconds.
“Today was all about competing as a team against some tough competition. More importantly, it was about running for our Savior,” Haecker said. “For me, this race went well and God really came through for me today and he always gets the glory for every race, good or bad.”
Haecker also said that she feels that the team as a whole ran well.
“We all ran as one. Although some of our runners didn’t have their best race, we all finished as one,” Haecker said. “That’s the cool part about cross country, it truly does take the whole team to accomplish something. We’re excited for what God has for us and to get back to work for the next few weeks.”
On the men’s side, junior Camden Sesna finished 9 out of 133 competitors in the men’s 8-kilometer race with a time of 26 minutes 3 seconds. Finishing second for the bulldogs was sophomore Calvin Rhode with a time of 26 minutes 31 seconds.
“Overall this meet ran a lot slower due to a very humid day,” Sesna said. “As a team, we didn’t run a whole lot of personal best’s, but we ran a great race placing wise. Seeing as the only team that ended up beating us was a division one school, we couldn’t be happier with the results.
Sesna said that he didn’t have the race that he wanted individually, but is still happy with the outcome.
“I didn’t run the time I wanted to today, but I ran a smart race so I’m content with that,” Sesna said. “Today was a great day for both the girls and guys teams, so all glory to God for that!”
The bulldogs will return to action at the Mount Marty University Invite at Yankton, South Dakota on Oct. 23.
“I’m excited to see what Mount Marty will bring for us in three weeks,” Beisel said.