Cross Country prepares for invitational

Brian Kimmes

Brian Kimmes

After participating in two meets in two days, the cross country team faces the SDSU Classic Invitational Sept. 30. The classic is the second Division-I home meet in Jackrabbit history.

Last weekend, the team split its squad in order to run at two different meets. Some members of the squad competed in Brookings at the Jackrabbit Open, while other members traveled to St. Paul, Minn., to run in the Roy Griak Invitational.

The home meet featured Division-II schools, which enabled the Jacks to run younger, inexperienced runners on Friday, sending the more seasoned runners to the D-I meet on Saturday.

The women finished second at the Jackrabbit Open. Shannon Hattervig led the way for the Jackrabbits by finishing fifth. Also placing in the top 10 for the Jacks were Allison Mettler and Heidi Quail. Head Coach Rod DeHaven said he thought the Jackrabbit Open was a good opportunity for the girls to run toward the front of the pack.

The men’s team did not participate as a team in the Jackrabbit Open, but they did have individuals run in the meet. Marshall Kambestad continued to run well this season, even though he is red-shirted. He finished second at the meet on Friday.

Coach DeHaven said the men have a lot of work yet to do this season.

Neither the men nor the women ran as well as they would have liked at the Roy Griak Invitational.

“We left Minneapolis fairly disappointed,” said DeHaven.

He said with the exception of Katie Tornberg, the women did not run very well. Tornberg led the Jacks, finishing 44th out of 288 runners. DeHaven said their training did not put them in position to do well. Overall, the team finished 19th in St. Paul, although the team was hoping for a higher finish.

“We’re disappointed we didn’t beat some schools,” said DeHaven.

The men’s team struggled even more than the women’s team, finishing 33rd. The men only had one runner in the top 100, Zach Frohling, who finished 90th. Joe Roby was next for the Jacks, finishing 249th.

“Zach ran really well,” said DeHaven. “Joe Roby did OK. The other guys weren’t ready … that is the coaches’ fault.”

The Jacks hope to use last weekend’s disappointing trip to St. Paul to inspire them to run well this weekend.

“Especially on the girls’ side, there is a lot of fuel there to run really strong this weekend,” said DeHaven. “The women will run a lot better this weekend.”

The women face a couple of quality schools this weekend. The University of Minnesota’s ranked women’s squad will travel to Brookings, as well as the University of Nebraska. Minnesota finished fourth last weekend and Nebraska finished eighth at the Roy Griak Invitational. DeHaven concedes that Minnesota and Nebraska will finish one and two, but the SDSU women “hope to finish third.”

On the men’s side, Nebraska and the University of Northern Iowa are two of the quality opponents facing the Jacks. DeHaven said he “hopes to see some improvement” from the men.

In addition to the men’s and women’s college races, 20 high school teams will compete in boys and girls races. DeHaven said about 600 total athletes will compete in races at Edgebrook Golf Course on Sept. 30.

#1.884246:1825465986.jpg:X-Country2.jpg:Senior Matt Small runs during the Jackrabbit Open on Friday at Edgebrook Golf Course.:Christy Wey