Cross country runners finish strong at meet

Faith Moldan

Faith Moldan

The men’s cross country team finished second while the women’s team placed seventh at the Pre-Nationals Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind., Saturday, Oct. 16.

Eighty-seven teams were seeded based on their rankings and divided among three races.

Prior to the meet coach Rod DeHaven was certain that SDSU runners would do well. SDSU finished behind Southern Illinois with a team total of 72 points in the men’s competition. Top finishers for SDSU were Scott Roby, a senior from Watertown, in 41st place (25:50.3) and Eric Hanson, a senior from Centerville, in 43rd place (25:54.6).

Hanson, who started running last fall, has recently been coming towards the front in workouts, DeHaven said.

“He’s apprehensive about his running, but three workouts don’t lie,” DeHaven said. “He inspires his teammates and leads in the most important meets.”

For the women, Becka Mansheim, a sophomore from Brookings, finished 17th (22:33.6) and led the women’s team to a 7th place finish.

“Becka has a positive attitude,” DeHaven said. “When you run well and give back, good things happen to you.”

Competing against Division I opponents is nothing new for the SDSU men’s and women’s cross country teams.

As the other SDSU athletic teams prepare to face new teams and challenges at the D-I level, the cross country team is doing nothing different.

“This is a dedicated group that wants to succeed,” Coach Rod DeHaven said. “We’re training just as hard this year. Most runners train about 11 months out of the year.”

The Jacks’ next meet is Friday, Oct. 22 at Edgebrook Golf Course in Brookings. Coach DeHaven said it’s not unusual to have only one home meet. The Friday race will be low-key with the men running 6K as opposed to their normal 8K and the women running 4K instead of 5K or 6K.

The runners are excited to face NDSU again.

“NDSU surprised us at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis. We want to make up the gap they had on us there,” DeHaven said.

The meet at Edgebrook is open to anyone to compete with an entry fee of $10. The women’s race starts at 4 p.m. and the men’s at 4:30 p.m.

“The team is rested and excited. They’re ready to go,” DeHaven said.

The Jacks’ final meet is the Division I Independent Championships in Corpus Christi, Texas, Oct. 30. DeHaven said that UC-Davis is the favorite to win.

The teams will be training hard for this final meet with hill workouts and three days of running hard.