Krsnak’s victory leads SDSU men to Summit cross country title

Spencer Chase

One tradition continued and one tradition continued to develop.

The SDSU men’s cross country team won its third Summit League Championship in four years and the SDSU women finished in third — both improvements from last year’s performances.

“It’s just an extension of the strong men’s cross country tradition that we have at South Dakota State,” head cross country coach Rod DeHaven said. “[The runners] are aware of the history, and it’s something they want to continue.”

The men were highlighted by a first-place performance from Championship MVP Michael Krsnak, who set the tone for four SDSU runners that would finish in the top ten. Head coach Rod DeHaven said the front-heavy finish was a big key to the team’s success.

“Our first three guys really did what we needed them to do,” DeHaven said. “Going in, we felt like we could get 10 points from those three and then it would be up to our fourth and fifth guy.”

Krsnak was followed by Trent Lusignan in third place and Jared Ailts in sixth. Joel Reichow finished 10th. Phillip LaVallee rounded out the Jackrabbit top five in 15th place.

Due to their high-placing performance, the SDSU men also received numerous all-conference honors. Krsnak, Lusignan, and Ailts all received First Team All-League, and Reichow was named to the Second Team. DeHaven was also named Coach of the Year.

The women finished only four points out of second place and took third on the day behind two top-ten finishers and all five runners finishing in the top 20. DeHaven said he and the team were hoping to be in contention for the runner-up spot, but he had nothing but good things to say about their performance.

“I just felt like they ran their guts out, and I couldn’t ask for a better performance,” DeHaven said.

Erin Hargens led all Jackrabbits with a third place finish, her best Summit League finish since her sophomore year. DeHaven said she wasn’t sure that she could return to that level.

“My hat’s off to (Hargens) in particular, because she had to overcome so much to get back to where she once was,” DeHaven said.

Laura Wolles also collected a top-ten finish by finishing in 10th, followed by Tera Potts in 13th. Freshman Cheyanne Bowers and sophomore Courtney Neubert took 17th and 18th, respectively. Hargens was named First Team All-League and Wolles and Pots both made Second Team.

“We were probably in second with about 800 (meters) to go, but there was some passing, and that’s just something that will happen at the end of the race,” DeHaven said. “I think the fact that we put our top five within the top 20 is a very good thing.”

The Jacks will head to the Fall Finale Nov. 2 in Collegeville, Minn. and the NCAA Midwest Regionals in Springfield, Mo., Nov. 9.