Cross country teams dominate in only home meet

Bosten Morehart, Sports Reporter

The South Dakota State cross country teams competed in their lone home meet of the season last Friday at the Edgebrook Golf Course, with both men’s and women’s teams taking home first place.

After both teams finished first at the Augustana Twilight meet in Sioux Falls a week ago, both teams were once again in top form this week.

Entering the meet, multiple athletes from the men’s team were battling COVID-related illnesses, but the team still managed to finish first in the meet. Head coach Rod DeHaven was pleased with how the team responded.

“It affects the training obviously and, in some cases, breathing as well, so not everyone was up to their strength,” DeHaven said.

Even after dealing with six missing runners from sickness, and a tumble during the race, the men’s team obtained six runners in the top 12. Tom Breukman finished the five-mile run in 25:07, coming in at second. His teammate Ben Olson finished right behind him in 25:13. Two other Jacks finished in the top ten, as Max Selbach finished fifth in 25:23 and Mason McDonald was seventh in 25:27.

The team walked away with the team title, finishing with 28 points. Sioux Falls finished second with 57 points, and Dordt grabbed third with 62 points.

For the women’s team, Leah Hansen ran a great race with a time of 18:03, winning the women’s three-mile race. 

“This race was more of a workout for me in the first two miles,” Hansen said.

Mya Kizer came in second in 18:22, and Kayla Christopherson finished fifth in 18:56 to round out the top five. Others who finished in the top ten were Caitlin Bright in sixth place (19:02), Emma Ecker in seventh (19:06), Grace Waage in ninth (19:11) and Malorie Schmoll, who finished tenth in 19:13.

Overall, seven Jackrabbits finished in the top ten, and the women’s team ran away with the team title, finishing with 21 points. Sioux Falls followed with 45 points, and Dordt finished third with 86 points.

DeHaven said that training for every meet is different because it depends on the conditions of every course.

“Every meet is completely different since we are usually on some sort of grass terrain,” DeHaven said.

Both DeHaven and Hansen said that their next meet in Minnesota is known for the hills on the course and how they have to be mentally prepared for that task.

Both teams have high expectations this season, and Hansen has individually had a lot of expectations after claiming Summit League Athlete of the Year last year.

“I guess, for me personally, just trying to live up to that,” Hansen said. “Proving that we can do what people think we can do and even better.”

The Jackrabbits’ next competition will come in two weeks at the Roy Griak Invitational starting at 10 a.m. in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, Sept. 23.