Men look to repeat championship

Dustin Veurink

Dustin VeurinkSportswriter

… conference championships Oct. 30 in Indianapolis, Ind.

The men’s cross country team took home the 2009 Summit League title last year. With a year under their belt, the men are now focused and confident in their ability to repeat their reign as champions.

Last year, the men edged out Southern Utah by five points to claim SDSU’s first men’s Summit League Championship.

Michael Krsnak led the way for the young Jacks team with a sixth place finish and Greg Vollmer rounded out the top ten.

Anthony Bongard and Greg Beesley followed Vollmer with 11th and 12th place finishes. Jared Ailts turned in an impressive 20th place finish as a freshman.

The men won the meet despite being predicted to finish fifth in the preseason poll. Not only did the men win the title but head coach Rod DeHaven was named Coach of the Year. This year the men hope to take home all the awards.

“Our expectations have been consistent throughout the year and that is to win the conference championship,” DeHaven said. “Nothing has occurred to think any differently about that goal.”

According to DeHaven, Oakland is the team to watch out for.

“Mike and Anthony will be up front battling with Oakland’s top two guys and then things will get interesting,” DeHaven said. “Our guys will have to match up with Oakland’s guys and in particular I think our 3-7 runners will make the difference.”

Bongard is excited to compete at the championships.

“This is the meet I have been waiting for all season,” Bongard said. “I am ready to just go out there and give it all I got.”

Bongard likes the team’s chance of taking home the Summit League title.

“Yes, the team is prepared to defend the title and prepared to race out of their minds,” Bongard said. “It is hard to talk about racing the conference meet without getting excited.”

Kelsey Aune and Terra Potts return for the women who finished 16th and 47th last year at the championships.

The women’s top runner and sophomore transfer Erin Hargens will try to help the Jacks in her first Summit League Championship after returning from suffering an injury.

“Erin has been running well since she returned from her injury,” DeHaven said. “It remains to be seen how much she might have lost of her conditioning, but it appears right now that her fitness is still very good.”

The women’s team has been battling with injuries this season.

“We have some other injuries we need to have heal quickly for the women to have a successful day,” DeHaven said.

Last year, the women finished fifth at the championships. The women look to have a good day at the championships despite the injuries.

“Right now if we finish in the top five that would be great,” DeHaven said.

The Summit League Championships will take place Oct. 30 in Indianapolis, Ind. The teams will then finish their season on Nov. 13 at the NCAA Midwest Regional in Peoria, Ill.