Cross country teams look to get running start in Grand Forks

Zach Anderson

Zach Anderson

The women’s cross country team was selected as the preseason favorite in the Summit League. The Jackrabbits earned six first-place votes and 76 points overall.

Ashley Storm and Nicole Davis, named first-team all-conference and second-team all-conference respectively, will return this season.

Regarding the pressure on being selected to finish first in the Summit League, cross country coach Rod DeHaven said, “I don’t think there is a lot.

“There might be a bit of a target on our back heading to conference,” he said.

Southern Utah was picked to finish second behind SDSU with 75 points and four first-place votes. North Dakota State and Oakland each earned 57 points, while IPFW got fifth with 52 points.

“It has been exciting to work with this year’s senior class for three years, with this being the fourth year,” DeHaven said.

Southern Utah will host the Summit League Championships in Cedar City, Utah.

The men’s team received 54 points in the poll and was selected to finish fifth. Michael Krsnak, who earned a spot on the second-team all-Summit league last season, returns this season.

Last year, the Jacks were hampered by several injuries.

“Last year, we were a little snake bitten,” DeHaven said.

“I’m confident that the gents don’t want to see a repeat of last year. Fifth place is very disappointing,” he said.

Southern Utah will begin its fourth straight year as favorites to win the Summit League with nine first-place votes and 81 points. Oakland was selected to finish second with 72 points and a first-place vote.

“At home, Southern Utah will be a heavy favorite,” said DeHaven, speaking on the Summit League Championship. “They are pretty tough and have a good tradition.

“Oakland will also be pretty tough. They gave the Thunderbirds a good run at Centenary last year,” he said.

“In the press release, I said that I will bet my kids that we will be better than fifth. I wasn’t talking about the kids on my team, I’m talking about my kids at home,” DeHaven said.

The poll was voted on by all 10 Summit League Coaches.

The cross country season for both the men and women will begin Sept. 5 at the UND Invitational in Grand Forks, N.D.