South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

Cross-Country expects big things

Dave Eggen/

The South Dakota State men’s cross-country team expects plenty of competition this year as it tries to win an eighth-straight Summit League title.

University of St. Thomas and North Dakota State University have beefed-up rosters and have a chance to knock off the defending champions, according to SDSU coach Rod DeHaven.

Last season, the Jackrabbits took home their seventh-consecutive Summit League title. Ben Olson led in the 8,000-meter race, which also saw six additional Jackrabbit runners place in the top 10. Olson was also named the conference’s Male Athlete of the Year. 

In the NCAA Midwest Regionals, the team finished sixth with 204 points. Heading into the 2023 season, a total of eight runners will return to the team. 

Five All-Conference performers graduated following the 2022 season, while Josh Becker and Daniel Burkhalter will return to the team for 2023.

Six incoming freshmen from multiple states are joining the team, including Carson Noecker, who won four individual championships in Nebraska and became the only athlete to break the 15-minute barrier on a state course.

“[We’re] excited to add him into the mix,” said DeHaven.

While the men’s team saw plenty of success in 2022, the women’s team wasn’t far behind. Last season, the women’s team finished runner-up in the Summit League Conference Championship behind North Dakota State University.


The team saw greater success during the season when they finished inside the top five in five different competitions. Leah Hisken, formerly Leah Hansen, won her third-consecutive league individual championship. 


In the NCAA Midwest Regionals, the team finished inside the top ten. Sixteen runners will be returning to the women’s team for 2023. 


Key runners such as Caitlin Bright, Hisken and Mya Kizer are returning for the 2023 season, all of which were All-Conference performers.

While a majority of the team is returning, a couple of transfers are making their way onto the team. Jessica Lutmer, who ran for the University of Sioux Falls, and Meghan Ford, who ran for Furman University. Ford was a past Nike Cross Regional Champion in Sioux Falls.

“They will add some depth [to the team] as well,” stated DeHaven. This season’s team will have a total of 25 runners on the roster.

One major change is coming to the Jackrabbits cross-country schedule. With the Jacks set to host the Summit League Championship on Oct. 28, coach DeHaven says it can create plenty of distractions for the teams. 

“It’s a lot easier being the hunter than the huntee,” said DeHaven. 


Jackrabbits Cross-Country schedule

    Sept. 1: Augustana Twilight – Yankton Trails Park, Sioux Falls

    Sept. 8: SDSU Classic – Edgebrook Golf Course, Brookings

    Sept. 22: Roy Griak Invitational – Les Bolstad Golf Course, Falcon Heights, Minn.

    Oct. 7: Briar Cliff Invitational – Adams Nature Preserve, North Sioux City.

    Oct. 13: Platte River Rumble – Mahoney State Park, Ashland, Neb.

    Oct. 28: Summit League XC Championship – Edgebrook Golf Course, Brookings.

    Nov. 11: NCAA Midwest Regional Championship – Greiner Family XC Course, Stillwater, Okla.

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