Cross Country teams sprint towards Summit League tournament

Dustin Veurink

Dustin VeurinkSportswriter

The SDSU cross country teams started where they left off last year.

Last year, the men took home the Summit League Championship and the women finished fifth. Thanks to juniors Anthony Bongard and Michael Krsnak, the men have a good chance to win it again this year.

The men started the season with a great win at the UND Ron Plynn Classic. Krsnak won the meet while five other Jacks finished in the top 10.

The women came in second at the meet. Sophomore transfer Erin Hargens led the way for the Jacks with a fourth place finish. Kelsey Aune and Tera Potts also finished in the top 10 with fifth and eighth place finishes.

The teams were next at the Oz Memorial in Minneapolis. Krsnak won the individual title for the second straight week in a row. Bongard had another strong performance finishing third. The men finished second behind Drake. Hargens finished in 12th place to lead the women to a fourth place finish at the Oz Memorial.

The teams were back in Minneapolis for the Griak Invitational. Bongard led the way for the men with a 60th place finish and Krsnak finished 90th. The men finished 15th out off 22 teams.

Hargens finished 81st out of 300 runners to lead the women at the Griak; Aune finished 133rd. The women placed 23rd out of 29 teams.

The Jacks cross country teams were next at home for the SDSU Classic. Bongard and Krsnak finished first and second to lead the men to the title. Bongard and Krsnak’s times of 24:46.10 and 24:50.80 were both career-best 8K times.

Greg Vollmer, Kyle Schmidt and Jared Ailts each finished in the top 10 to help the men win the title.

Hargens finished sixth and Aune finished 15th to lead the women to a fourth place finish at the SDSU Classic.

The men were next at the Pre Nationals in Indiana. The men finished 32nd out of 35 teams. Krsnak led the way with an 83rd place finish. Bongard turned in a 121st place finish for the men.

The women were at the Bradley Invitational. Leading the way for the women was Aune with a 52nd place finish. Close behind was Potts with a 57th place finish.

“For the men I think things have gone the way that we expected them to go to this point,” said head coach Rod DeHaven. “We have looked very good at times and struggled a little bit in the bigger meets.”

Bongard likes how the men’s team is performing.

“It is good to know my teammates are working hard and it goes to show how much we want the conference title,” Bongard said.

The women’s team has been affected by injuries.

“But many of the younger team members have made some nice improvement during the fall and that is exciting to see that,” DeHaven said.

The cross country teams will next be at the Summit League Championships on Oct. 30 in Indianapolis, Ind.

“We are running to win the conference meet on the 30th and everyone on the team will be disappointed if that does not happen,” DeHaven said.

Bongard is looking forward to the conference meet.

“It is not going to be an easy win,” said Bongard. “The team is going to have to work together to win the conference title.”