Bison Cross Country Women Repeat, Men Take 6th
Wahlund leads NDSU women to 2nd straight Summit League Championship
Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2012 13:10
The NDSU women’s cross country team has repeated. Brecca Wahlund, a freshman for the Bison, was NDSU’s first runner to cross the finish line at the Summit League Championships, although her teammates weren’t very far behind. The Bison’s top five runners were placed in the top 15 overall in Rochester, Michigan on Saturday morning.
This gave the Bison women their second consecutive Summit League title. The Bison men’s cross country team placed sixth at the Summit League Cross Country Championships held at Katke-Cousins Golf Course. Bison sophomores Brett Kelly and Grady Anderson placed 20th and 21st to lead the Bison men.
The Bison women finished with 36 points for their victory, outpaced second-place South Dakota’s 59 points, and third-place South Dakota State’s 63 points. Bison women had the second-lowest point total at the conference meet since 2003. The Bison men tied Kansas City at the end of the day for sixth with 128 points in a team race that was tight in the middle of the pack. A total of 24 points separated only five teams, in the places third through sixth. South Dakota State won the team Championship with 35 points, and South Dakota was second with 62 points. IUPUI came in third, host Oakland was fourth, and Western Illinois came in fifth.
It was a total team effort for the Bison women team, as the top four runners finished, second, fourth, seventh, and eighth out of the 73- athlete field. Brecca Wahlund claimed the runner-up honors with time of 21:58.5 and became the school’s highest finisher in its Summit League history. Teammate junior Heidi Peterson placed fourth overall with a time of 22:12.5, and junior Maddie McClellan was seventh with a time of 22:29.1. Sophomore Abbi Aspengren, which was named the league’s Newcomer of the Year at the 2011 championships- placed eighth with a time of 22:32.4. The only senior on the team, Faith Kruchowski, finished off the title with a 15th-place finish with a time of 23:01.6.
For the Bison men Brett Kelly was on top for the Bison with a time of 26:38.8 in the 8k course. Anderson was very close behind with a time of 26:40.5. Redshirt freshman Brendan Skime placed 25th with a time of 26:46.5, junior Moses Heppner was 30th with a time of 26:59.0, and sophomore Lucas DeGree finished out the scoring in 32nd place with a time of 27:03.4. The true freshman Byron Schuldt took 36th place in his first Summit League Championship debut.
Senior Michael Krsnak of South Dakota won the 8k race with a time of 25:06.4. The Bison men’s team roster for the conference meet consisted of one true freshman, two redshirt freshmen, three sophomores, and two juniors.
NDSU women’s coach said about the race “I am very proud of the way the girls ran,” NDSU women’s coach Ryun Godfrey said. “Having a target on their back can sometimes be a difficult position to be in, but I thought they handled it great.”
The Oakland senior Brittni Hutton won the individual title with a time of 21:49.8.
The Bison’s Wahlund, Peterson, and McClellan were named first team All-Summit League. Abbi Aspengren was a second team All-Summit League performer. There was a challenging wind at the course which had an impact on the runner’s times, but overall Godfrey was pleased with how the Bison responded.
“The wind probably resulted in some times a little slower than we might normally run, but at the conference meet, you throw times out the window and run for place.” Godfrey said.
This marks the fourth straight year that the Bison women earned a top-three team finish at the Summit League Championships. The Bison women won last year’s title with 64 points. Godfrey was named the league’s Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
“Last year the girls took a lot of pride winning the Triple Crown in The Summit League - cross country, indoor track and outdoor track championships - and this is the first step in attempting to do that again,” Godfrey said. “The girls are pretty excited about that.”
The NCAA Midwest Regional is scheduled for Nov. 9 in Springfield, MO.