Men first, women third at Summit Championships

Carson Herbert, Sports Reporter

Fargo, N.D. — They did it again. 

Finishing with a perfect score of 15 points, the South Dakota State men’s cross country team dominated the 2019 Summit League Cross Country Championships on Saturday afternoon at Rose Creek Golf Course.

The Jackrabbits, who captured their fourth straight men’s title and eighth overall league title since joining the conference, tied a league record for the lowest score in the championships. Prior to Saturday, Southern Utah was the last team to record a perfect score in the conference championships when it did so in 2006.

Sophomore Joseph Minor-Williams, who was honored as Summit League Newcomer of the Championship last year, earned the individual league title, the championship’s men’s MVP and all-league first team with a final time of 24:43.6 Saturday afternoon.

All told, SDSU had the top six finishers on the men’s side. Joining Minor-Williams, junior Micah Mather, senior Lukas Nelson and senior Chase Cayo all finished with sub-25-minute times. Sophomore Thomas Breuckman and junior Gabe Peters came in with times just over 25 minutes.

SDSU head coach Rod DeHaven was impressed with how the men’s team ran Saturday. 

“The guys ran well whether they perfect score or don’t perfect score, you just wanted to win,” DeHaven said. “It worked out well. It’s not like that wasn’t the goal. We wanted them to run together through 4K and see what would happen and they just felt good and together and ran for each other.”

DeHaven continued on what the Jacks can build on in preparation for the regional championships.

 “(The men) just ran smart (today). I think there is just a lot more left in the tank. I think we still have some big goals when it comes to the regional meet,” he said.

North Dakota State (64 points) and South Dakota (74) finished second and third, respectively, in the 8K race.

On the women’s side, junior Anna Donnay finished second overall with a final time of 21:02.3 to lead the Jacks to their second-consecutive third-place finish in the Summit League Championships after scoring 73 points. 

Sophomore Ellie Friesen, who won the Newcomer of the Championship award on the women’s side last year, finished 13th with a time of 21:55.2. 

Donnay made the all-first team while Friesen was a member of the all-second team. 

“I think our women ran as hard as they could,” DeHaven said. “I’m proud of their effort and I think we’ll be better a year from now. We don’t lose anybody in that group and I think they were really solid.”

NDSU won the team championship with a score of 45. Runner-up USD scored 48 in a 6K race. 

Bison junior Kelby Anderson took the individual title, finishing the race in 20:35.1.

The Jacks now have a brief break before the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships, which take place Nov. 15 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.