Men’s cross country team wins sixth-straight title; women win second

Cooper Kanthak, Sports Reporter

The South Dakota State cross country teams won the men’s and women’s Summit League Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last week.

The men have won six consecutive titles, while the women’s victory made it two in a row for that squad.

Head coach Rod DeHaven said the teams had an “amazing weekend,” and he was proud of the teams, as well as the athletes.

For the men, Gabe Peters won the individual title over the 8,000-meter course with a time of 24 minutes, 33.25 seconds. This was the fifth-fastest 8K time in league history.

Ben Olson also was one of six Jackrabbits finishers in the top seven spots ,right behind Peters for second place. Max Selbach took third. Tom Breuckman, Joseph Minor-Williams and Daniel Burkhalter finished in the top seven with fifth-, sixth- and seventh-place finishes, respectfully.

Their team score of 17 easily out-distanced league newcomer St. Thomas, which tallied 46 points.

“The men did a nice job executing a race plan and wearing everybody else out.” DeHaven said.

The Jackrabbit women repeated as league champions behind a strong showing from Leah Hansen, who also repeated as individual champion. The team won by just a point, barely beating NDSU.

Hansen, a sophomore from Willmar, Minnesota, crossed the finish line in the 6,000-meter race in 21:3.78 to lead three Jackrabbits to top-six finishes.

Cailee Peterson finished fourth in a time of 21:37.03, and Anna Donnay trailed close behind for sixth place, finishing in 21:44.61. 

DeHaven said he was pleased with the upperclassman and how they competed. 

“Our seniors really stepped up when the season mattered,” he said.

Both SDSU teams now head to the NCAA Midwest Regionals Friday, Nov. 12, in Iowa City. And DeHaven hopes to see more success in Iowa. 

“Hopefully, we have some athletes have an all-region finish, and we beat some teams that we feel we are better than,” DeHaven said.