Cross country refocusing after faltering at conference meet

The Jacks cross country team finished the championship race on Halloween by both squads placing second in their respective meets. This isn’t what the team expected.

“We wanted to be the first program in a long time to win the Summit League in both genders,” said Head Coach Rod DeHaven, who seemed disappointed in his team’s performance in the Summit League Championship. “The goal all year was to get first. We weren’t quite on. It sucks, but life goes on and we will fight another day when regionals come up this weekend.”

The men’s team captured the top three spots in the meet. Senior Trent Lusignan, who missed all of last year due to injury, topped off his comeback campaign by winning his second Summit League title of his career, becoming the ninth men’s runner to acquire this achievement. Coming in second place was junior Joel Reichow, who also missed all of last season with an injury and really has solidified himself as the Jacks number two runner. 

Finishing in third place was junior Trevor Capra, who got high praise from his coach.

“Trevor ran an incredible race to get third place, but it was a bit of a struggle after that unfortunately,” DeHaven said. 

On the women’s side, finishing second wasn’t as harsh as it was for the men. The women were underrated and overlooked all season due to strong teams at USD and NDSU, but pulled out the second place with the help of senior Samantha Anderson and freshman Rachel King, who finished in fifth and sixth place, only a fifth of a second apart from each other. Coach DeHaven still wasn’t pleased with his team’s performance. 

“Happy to beat NDSU and get second, but I still feel it was a slightly missed opportunity,” DeHaven said.

King was awarded the 2015 Summit League Newcomer of the Year award. She was one of the top runners for the Jacks all season and also battled a bad cold midway through the season.

“She has got the potential to be really, really good,” DeHaven said. 

The Jacks have the Midwest Regional meet this upcoming Friday in Lawrence, Kan. The Jacks will be facing tough competition, going against some of the top Division I programs in the nation. DeHaven said that the goal for the men’s team is to “beat a conference champion for another mid-major conference.”

On the women’s side, DeHaven said “staying together as group and try a beat USD,” were the top priorities for the Jacks. The Jacks will be looking to finish off the year strong in their final meet.