Bulldogs Look Good at Grand View!

Emma Houston-Roosevelt-Drake ©Doug Welsl

Emma Houston-Roosevelt-Drake
©Doug Welsl

Courtesy Drake Athletics

The Drake University women’s cross country team had the top six finishers in the Viking Invitational to win the 5-kilometer race at Des Moines’ Ewing Park for the second straight season.

The men’s team finished third overall, but was the second collegiate team behind nationally ranked NAIA program Morningside on the 8-kilometer men’s course.

“Our women really competed very well,” head coach Dan Hostager said. “We didn’t taper at all this week so it was good experience and a good meet to build confidence and get feedback. Our training has been going well, so it’s good to get that positive feedback.”

The women’s team’s perfect score was paced by race-winner Emma Huston (Des Moines, Iowa) in 19:06 on the 5-kilometer course. She was followed closely by redshirt sophomore Krista Maguire (Wausau, Wis.) in 19:25 and senior Erin Poss (Antioch, Ill.) in 19:43. Amanda Marwitz (Crystal Lake, Ill.) was the fourth runner across the line with freshman Angela Ufheil (Lake Zurich, Ill.) trailing closely in 19:55.

The Bulldogs also had two other runners, Sammy Nielsen (Maplewood, Minn.), and Celeste Arteaga (Rock Island, Ill.) finish in the top 10 in sixth and 10th place, respectively.

The men’s squad’s third-place finish saw a smaller roster with many of the team’s top runners being rested finish behind a strong Morningside team and Run DSM, a collection of post-collegiate and unattached runners.

“For the men, we saw a lot of great efforts,” Hostager said. “There’s definitely room for improvement but the guys did well and quite a few ended up with PRs as well.”

Senior Ian Harkreader (Arvada, Colo.) was Drake’s top finisher on the men’s 8-kilometer course in 26:36. He was followed by redshirt freshman Ali Jandal (La Crosse, Wis.) as Drake’s second runner across the finish line in 10th place at 26:54.

Freshman Ryan Ross (Algonquin, Ill.) was 16th in 27:18 with classmate Calvin Quarterman (McHenry, Ill.) just behind him in 27:31 to finish 22nd. Sophomore James Saxton (La Crosse, Wis.) was the team’s final scorer in 26th place with a time of 27:50.

For many of the men’s team’s younger runners, it was their first race at the 8-kilometer distance and provided them an opportune chance to gain experience at the longer distance.

“It’s a good low-pressure meet to run that first 8k for our freshmen,” Hostager said. “Especially the guys who are middle distance guys on the track. That adjustment takes a while, but I was proud of the way they handled it.”

Both teams return to action next weekend at the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 28. The annual meet is hosted by the University of Minnesota on the Les Bolstad Course.

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