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Trey Thompson-Ogden-Simpson
©Jim Kirby 2018

Thompson All-Conference On the Course and In Class

Trey Thompson-Ogden-Simpson ©Jim Kirby 2018

Trey Thompson-Ogden-Simpson
©Jim Kirby 2018

Senior cross country runner Trey Thompson has helped the Storm get to the front of the pack in the championship season. Placing sixth out of 175 runners, Thompson earned the first all-conference honors of his career and he helped the Storm place fifth overall at the American Rivers Conference Championships.

Courtesy Storm Athletics by Madison DePover, Staff Writer, click here! Feature photo: Trey Thompson-Ogden-Simpson©Jim Kirby 2018


Thompson graduated from Ogden High School, where he ran on the cross country team. He decided to come to Simpson after taking a visit and having a great recruiting experience with head Coach Heath Moenck. Thompson, who is a mathematics major and secondary education minor, knew he was also coming to a school with strong programs he was interested in.

“When I went on an overnight visit in November, I really bonded with the team members and got along with all the team members,” Thompson said.

When Thompson was a freshman at Simpson, the regional team the year before returned every member. Thompson came in wanting to be at the top of the junior varsity team with that knowledge in mind—but by the end of the year, he was the third runner on the varsity team.

“The first year, I did not expect to be on varsity,” Thompson said, “When we had our first race freshman year, and I was the fifth runner, taking out some of the seniors in the roster. The whole year, I kept moving up and ended the year third on the team.”

Thompson had to keep working hard going into the next year, since he was No. 3 on the team.

“My sophomore year, I was already the third runner, and the first was a senior and junior.  They end up becoming my best friends, and we were all trained together that summer,” he said.

“It was our goal to change the culture of the team to be a winning team. In the past we were a team that was all in the middle of the pack, not at the top as a team.”

Thompson also continued his personal success right away his sophomore year by winning the home meet. He said the experience he gained during his freshman year helped him know what to expect going in to his second year.

“Also, I changed my race strategy to run harder and having the coaches to help me out a lot with that,” he added.

Now in his senior year, Thompson is the No. 1 runner for the Storm and one of the top runners in the conference.

“I think a lot of that is how in cross country, seniority is a big deal and making sure every single year you get better, since it is always senior heavy on the top,” Thompson said. “As everyone graduated, I waited my turn and moved up every year, and got aerobic running training under your legs and your lungs.”

An important part of Thompson’s training was not expecting too much out of himself right away. He said his goal freshman year was to be one of the top freshman and so on for every consecutive year.

“So when I get to senior year, I am the top runner, or at least try to be,” Thompson said. “I like that philosophy a lot, to work at your level and just keep everyone behind you and stay at your level working up.”

Thompson said he has not had a flawless running career but has been able to deal with his failures and not let them affect him negatively.

“You need failures to be successful,” he said. “Everyone thinks that is has been all success, since I came from a small school, but I have had failures before I was successful each time. I have had great senior leaders every year and I was able to fail behind them succeeding and saw what they did to ad on and make myself better.”

Leaving a different team then what he joined, Thompson will leave a lasting legacy on the team.

“I hope that I left the team full of hard workers that love to run. When I was younger, there were a lot of self-centered people that only really had personal goals and starting last year, we had big team goals, and everyone had team goals in the beginning,” Thompson said.

On Nov. 10, the team will travel to Waverly to compete in the regional meet.

“My personal goal is to qualify for nationals,” Thompson said. “For the team, we want to get as low as possible in the rankings, be in the top ninth to better our last year finish of 10.”

Sierra Howardson-Danville-Iowa Wesleyan 
©Tigers Athletics 2018

Freshman Howardson Leads Tigers at the Cowbell

Sierra Howardson-Danville-Iowa Wesleyan  @The Burlington Hawk Eye 2018

Sierra Howardson-Danville-Iowa Wesleyan
@The Burlington Hawk Eye 2018

The Iowa Wesleyan cross country teams ran in their final race before the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships.  The Tigers competed in the Cowbell Classic Meet, which was hosted by Principia College, and finished eighth.

Courtesy Tigers Athletics, click here! Feature photo! Sierra Howardson-Danville-Iowa Wesleyan ©Tigers Athletics 2018


The women’s 6k field consisted of 75 runners.  Sierra Howardson (FR/Danville, IA) was the top finisher for Iowa Wesleyan, placing just inside the top twenty.  Howardson ran a 25:08.14 in the event, placing 19th individually and picking up 17 points for the Tigers.
On the men’s side, Iowa Wesleyan competed in a field of 82 runners, and their top finisher was Joel Amor.  Amor just missed a top 40 individual place with a time of 29:21.23. He placed 41st individually and earned 31 points for Iowa Wesleyan.
The Tigers will compete in the SLIAC Championships on October 27th, 2018 in Litchfield, Illinois.
Women’s results:
Men’s results:
Tiger Athletics: Iowa Wesleyan University strives to provide its student-athletes the opportunity to be successful in life and sports. Engaged in the SLIAC and UMAC Conferences, Tiger athletics is a proud member of NCAA Division III.

Simpson Men's Cross Country
©Jim Kirby 2018

Storm Men and Women Run a Loaded Race in Ettrick

Trey Thompson-Ogden-Simpson, Ian Mckenzie-Dowling-Simpson, Jon Facio-Clinton-Simpson ©Jim Kirby 2018

Trey Thompson-Ogden-Simpson, Ian Mckenzie-Dowling-Simpson, Jon Facio-Clinton-Simpson
©Jim Kirby 2018


Trey Thompson earned his fourth, top-20 finish of the season as the Simpson men’s cross country team placed seventh in a loaded field at the Jim Drews/Tori Neubauer Invitational hosted by Wis.-La Crosse on Saturday.

Courtesy Storm Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Simpson Men’s Cross Country©Jim Kirby 2018


The Storm finished with 218 points, well ahead of Illinois Wesleyan (291) and behind American Rivers conference foe, Nebraska Wesleyan (181). The No. 8 team in the Central Region, Simpson topped No. 9 Gustavus Adolphus and beat conference rivals Luther (10th) and Dubuque (11th).

Simpson’s top finisher in each meet this season, Thompson placed 20th in the field of 294 runners after navigating the 8k course in 25:48.0 His running mate, Jonathan Facio, came in 35th in 26:20.9.

Cale Billheimer claimed the No. 3 spot in the lineup for the second meet in a row, running 27:06.5 to place 64th. Tyler Combswasn’t far behind in 68th (27:07.7) and Logan Egeland took 70th (27:13.3).

Ryan Courtney (81st, 27:24.0) and Drew Roen (112th, 27:49.8) rounded out the Storm’s varsity finishers.


Trey Thompson — 20th, 25:48.0
Jonathan Facio — 35th, 26:20.9
Cale Billheimer — 64th, 27:06.5
Tyler Combs — 68th, 27:07.7
Logan Egeland — 70th, 27:13.3
Ryan Courtney — 81st, 27:24.0
Drew Roen — 112th, 27:49.8


Audrey Klein-Lincoln-Simpson ©Jim Kirby 2018

Audrey Klein-Lincoln-Simpson
©Jim Kirby 2018

Shelby Hunemiller and Audrey Klein led the Simpson women’s cross country team to a 15th place finish in a loaded field at the Jim Drews/Tori Neubauer Invitational hosted by Wis.-La Crosse on Saturday.

Courtesy Storm Athletics, click here! 


Simpson finished with 430 points in the field of 21 teams.

Hunemiller led the Storm for the third time in four meets this season, navigating the 6k course in 24:39.4 to place 90th in the field of 262 runners. Klein was close behind for her highest team finish of the season, taking 92nd place in 24:39.7.

Kaitlyn Murano placed 104th (24:55.5), Mackenzie Laughlin 110th (25:02.4) and Kyli Orr 175th (26:21.8). Abby Loecke made her debut in the top seven, placing 177th (26:24.0). Kaylee Willadsen also cracked the top seven for the first time, taking 181st (26:27.5).


Shelby Hunemiller — 90th, 24:39.4
Audrey Klein — 92nd, 24:39.7
Kaitlyn Murano — 104th, 24:55.5
Mackenzie Laughlin — 110th, 25:02.4
Kyli Orr — 175th, 26:21.8
Abby Loecke — 177th, 26:24.0
Kaylee Willadsen — 181st, 26:27.5


Simpson will compete in the American Rivers Conference Championship on Saturday, Oct. 27 in Lincoln, Neb.

Loras Women Cross Country 2018
©A&D Photo/Duhawks Athletics

Rosenbum Leads DuHawks

Coach Bob Schultz-Loras ©Jim Kirby 2017

Coach Bob Schultz-Loras
©Jim Kirby 2017

With the first traditional race of the season featuring a 6k for the women and an 8k for the men, Kassie Rosenbum finished second in the field, running 22:38.7. Patrick Wolak was the top finisher for the men with a time of 25:52.7

Courtesy DuHawks Athletics, click here! Loras Women Cross Country 2018©A&D Photo/Duhawks Athletics

14 | Patrick Wolak | 25:52.7
16 | Cole Conklin-Little | 25:58.3
18 | Jack Carroll | 26:01.5
21 | Luke Guttormson | 26:03.7
29 | Preston Kauder | 26:37.6

2 | Kassie Rosenbum | 22:38.7
29 | Brianna Renner | 24:18.2
31 | Audrey Miller | 24:19.4
32 | Camryn Reeg | 24:20.7
33 | Maggie Bald | 24:22.3

• Cole-Conklin Little turned in a personal best on Saturday, running his first sub-26 minute race and 26 seconds faster than his performance at the Iowa Conference Championships last year
• Wartburg’s Carina Collet ran 21:45.5 for the top time out of the competition
• Rosenbum collected her second top-five finish of the season

Loras hosts its home invite next Friday at the Dubuque Soccer Complex. Racing is scheduled to begin at 4:45 p.m.

Grinnell Women's Cross Country  2018
©Pioneer Athletics 2018

Pioneer Men and Women Shine at Les Duke


Grinnell College’s women’s cross country team found the home course much to its liking.

Courtesy Pioneer Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Grinnell Women’s Cross Country 2018 ©Pioneer Athletics

The Pioneers raced to victory in a 16-team field at their annual Les Duke Invitational Saturday at Grinnell College Golf Course. That marks the first time Grinnell has won the meet since sharing the title in 2007, and the first outright crown since the year before that.

Not only did the Pioneers win, they did so with little trouble by outscoring runner-up Central College 44-104. Simpson College was third with 120.

The Pioneers packed three runners in the top seven, led by Mikayla Fujiwara ’20. She placed third of 145 runners, touring the 6-kilometer course in 23:25. Anna Ahrens ’19 added a fifth-place finish in 23:38 and first-year Emma Schaefer ’22 entered Grinnell’s all-time top 50 chart by taking seventh in 24:18. That time ranks 47th at Grinnell.

Other scorers for Grinnell were Tori LaVerdiere ’20 and Ally Cottrell ’21, 14th and 15th, respectively, in 25:00. Other top contenders for Grinnell were Micaela Daney ’22 (28th in 25:45) and Madeleine Breunig ’20 (32nd in 25:52).

Grinnell travels to Rock Island, Ill., on Sept. 21 to compete in the Brissman-Lundeen Invitational.

Grinnell Men's Cross Country  2018 ©Pioneer Athletics

Grinnell Men’s Cross Country 2018
©Pioneer Athletics


Grinnell College’s men’s cross country team seems to always show up big at its own Les Duke Invitational, and Saturday proved to continue that trend.

Courtesy Pioneer Athletics, click here!

The Pioneers raced to a runner-up finish in the 19-runner field at Grinnell College Golf Course, scoring 69 points and putting three runners in the top 11. The winner was Central College with 58, while Simpson College was third with 88.

John Lennon ’19 led the way for Grinnell, placing seventh in the 180-runner field with a time of 26:55 over an 8-kilometer stretch. Gray Streetman ’19 was 10th in 27:15 and Lucas Chamberland ’21 wound up 11th in 27:18.

Other scorers for Grinnell were John Osler ’20, 20th in 27:35, and Matt Lieberman ’21, 21st in 27:38. Matthew Phipps ’20 added a 28th-place finish in 27:55 and Jackson Schulte ’20 was 35th in 28:09.

Grinnell travels to Rock Island, Ill., Sept. 21 to compete in the Brissman-Lundeen Invitational.

Loras Women Cross Country 2018
©A&D Photo/Duhawks Athletics

Duhawks Place 3rd in All-American International

Coach Bob Schultz-Loras ©Jim Kirby 2017

Coach Bob Schultz-Loras
©Jim Kirby 2017

The men’s and women’s cross country teams each took home a third place finish at the All-American Invitational on Saturday, hosted by Luther College. The Duhawks had two top-10 finisher’s Patrick Wolak and Kassie Rosenbum.

Courtesy DuHawks Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Loras Women Cross Country 2018©A&D Photo/Duhawks Athletics

9 | Patrick Wolak | 20:54.4
11 | Cole Conklin-Little | 21:00.2
15 | Luke Guttormson | 21:08.5
19 | Blake Keller | 21:23.5
20 | Jack Carroll | 21:24.7
21 | Preston Kauder | 21:26.0
30 | Joey Schultz | 21:53.6

4 | Kassie Rosenbum | 19:14.8
20 | Brianna Renner | 20:26.2
24 | Camryn Reeg | 20:47.5
25 | Maggie Bald | 20:49.6
26 | Kaylee Osterberger | 20:49.7
27 | Emma Earles | 20:49.8
29 | Audrey Miller | 20:51.9

• Five of Loras’ top seven finishes in the women’s race made their collegiate debut on Saturday
Luke Guttormson and Blake Keller each made their top-seven debut for the men
• Loras was originally scheduled to compete in Lincoln, Neb., but heavy rain caused flooding in the race course, forcing a cancellation of the meet

Loras travels to Notre Dame for the National Catholic Championships on Friday, Sept. 14. The race is set to begin at 3 p.m. The men are aiming to repeat as champions and collect the fourth title since 2014.

Simpson Women's Cross Country 2018
©Jim Kirby2018

Storm Men and Women Sweep Bill Buxton Invite

Trey Thompson-Ogden-Simpson, Ian Mckenzie-Dowling-Simpson, Jon Facio-Clinton-Simpson ©Jim Kirby 2018

Trey Thompson-Ogden-Simpson, Ian Mckenzie-Dowling-Simpson, Jon Facio-Clinton-Simpson
©Jim Kirby 2018


Trey Thompson and Jonathan Facio swept the top two spots and the Simpson men’s cross country team rolled to a season-opening win at its own Bill Buxton Invitational on Friday at Pickard Park.

Courtesy Storm Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Simpson Women’s Cross Country©Jim Kirby 2018


Thompson ran away from the field, finishing the 6k course in 19:29 to take the gold. Facio wasn’t far behind, crossing in 19:41 to take second. A pair of sophomores in Seth Nostrala and Ryan Courtney added personal-best finishes as Nostrala took fourth in 20:22 and Courtney came in fifth in 20:24.

Simpson finished with 19 team points, easily topping the field of Southwestern CC (56), Graceland (71) and Iowa Wesleyan (109).

Luke Evans, Drew Roen and Cale Billheimer rounded out the Storm’s top-seven finishers.

Up Next
Simpson goes to the Les Duke Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 8 in Grinnell.

Storm Varsity Finishers
1. Trey Thompson, 19:29
2. Jonathan Facio, 19:41
4. Seth Nostrala, 20:22
5. Ryan Courtney, 20:24
7. Luke Evans, 20:26
8. Drew Roen, 20:37
9. Cale Billheimer, 20:40


Shelby Hunemiller and Emily Buchheit led a tightly-packed group of Simpson runners who occupied places 2-through-8 as the Storm rolled to a win at their own Buxton Invitational on Friday at Pickard Park.

Courtesy Storm Athletics, click here! 

Simpson finished with 20 points, easily ahead of Graceland (69), Iowa Wesleyan (80), Southwestern CC (98) and Des Moines Area CC (99).

Hunemiller turned in her top-career finish by taking second among collegiate runners, finishing the 4k course in 17:21. Buchheit was close behind in 17:24.

Freshman Kaitlyn Murano led a trio of rookies in Simpson’s top-seven, placing fourth in 17:33. After junior Audrey Klein in fifth (17:39), newcomers Kyli Orr (17:40) and Caitlyn Lucht (17:49) placed sixth and seventh, respectively, and Ashlee Litterer placed eighth (17:55).

Up Next
Simpson goes to the Les Duke Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 8 in Grinnell.

Storm Varsity Finishers
2. Shelby Hunemiller, 17:21
3. Emily Buchheit, 17:24
4. Kaitlyn Murano, 17:33
5. Audrey Klein, 17:39
6. Kyli Orr, 17:40
7. Caitlyn Lucht, 17:49
8. Ashlee Litterer (17:55)

Simpson Women's XC
©Jim Kirby 2017

Full Slate of XC Meets This Weekend

Joanna Topham-Griswald-Hawkeye Comm. © Jill Dahlstrom-2017

Joanna Topham-Griswald-Hawkeye Comm.
© Jill Dahlstrom-2017

The 2018 Cross Country season will begin for most Iowa colleges and universities this weekend.

The following is a list of the meets that we are aware of and the Iowa schools listed to attend them.

If you know of changes, please send them our way:

Feature photo: Simpson Women’s XC©Jim Kirby 2017

Friday, August 31:

Hawkeye Invitational at University of Iowa, 6:00 PM: Iowa, Iowa State, Drake, UNI.

Augustana Twilight at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD, 8:30 PM: Buena Vista, Morningside, Northwestern College, Briar Cliff,

John Kurtt Opener at Wartburg, 6:00 PM: Wartburg, Hawkeye Comm. College.

Dutch Opener at Central, 6:00 PM: Central, Clarke, Grinnell.

Bill Buxton Invite at Simpson, 5:30 PM: Simpson, Iowa Wesleyan, Graceland, DMACC (women only), Southwestern Comm. College.

Saturday, September 1:

24th Annual Mustang Gallop at Mt. Mercy: Mt. Mercy, Cornell, Coe, Dubuque, Scott Comm. College, Southeastern Comm. College.

St. Mary’s University Open: Luther

Mark Fairley-Dubuque-Central
©Jim Crawford 2018

Dutch Alum Fairley Gains International Experience

Mark Fairley-Dubuque Sr-Central ©Jim Kirby 2018

Mark Fairley-Dubuque Sr-Central
©Jim Kirby 2018

While in Brazil competing at the FISU America Games last month, former Central College men’s distance runner Mark Fairley made memories both on and off the track.

Courtesy Dutch Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Mark Fairley-Dubuque-Central ©Jim Crawford 2018

Sanctioned by the International University Sports Federation (FISU), the American Games are held in even numbered-years for North American and South American nations. This year’s version featured 1,200 athletes from over 20 participating countries in 13 sports.

On the track, Fairley had not raced competitively since the NCAA Division III Championships at the end of May. In his marquee event, the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Fairley was fourth in 9 minutes, 40.15 seconds. Daniel Reyes Morales of Mexico was the winner in 9:11.12. He also placed fifth in the 1,500-meter run in 4:04.76 while Michael Alba Jofre of Chile was the winner in 3:54.53.

“The competition was really good,” Fairley said. “At this point in the year, I am in the summer and just finished my season. Most of them are in the winter and in the beginning of their season. The other competitors all had similar PR’s, but they just happened to be in a little bit better shape because they had probably gotten better training over the previous month.”

The international nature of the event allowed Fairley to rub shoulders with athletes from other countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia and Uruguay.

“All of the athletes from all of the different sports stayed in the hotel,” Fairley said. “It was cool to have conversations with athletes from so many different countries.”

Service work also featured prominently on the week-long trip as the USA Track and Field team helped put together a mini-Olympics for Brazilian school children. The event was organized to lay the groundwork for the planting of a church in the area.

“There was a lot of opportunity to share my faith in Jesus Christ with people from other countries as well as my American teammates,” Fairley said. “God showed me the importance of trusting in him no matter what life throws at me.

“I was in charge of one of the soccer stations. It was like teaching a physical education class, which my education and student teaching experiences at Central prepared me well for.”

Speaking through a Portuguese translator at local schools while promoting the event, Fairley also answered questions about life in the United States and played soccer with the children.

Despite the short duration of the trip, the experience made an impact on Fairley.

“I hope and pray that I was an encouragement and joy to the school children of Brazil, because I know they were for me,” he said.

Fairley begins a two-year stint as a graduate assistant coach with the cross country and track and field programs at Liberty University (Va.) this fall.

Ashlee Litterer-Wav. Shell Rock-Simpson
©Jim Kirby 2017

Storm’s Litterer Expands Portfolio For Her Major

Ashlee Litterer-Wav. Shell Rock-Simpson ©Jim Kirby 2017

Ashlee Litterer-Wav. Shell Rock-Simpson
©Jim Kirby 2017

Sport: Cross Country and Track & Field
Hometown: Waverly, Iowa
Class this Fall: Junior
Major/Minor: Exercise Science/Biology
Internship: Program Supervisor at Cedar Falls Recreation Center

 Courtesy Storm Sports, click here! Feature photo: Ashlee Litterer-Wav. Shell Rock-Simpson©Jim Kirby 2017
What are your primary responsibilities?

I designed an eight week track camp for 3-6 graders. I coach at the camp, as well as manage the four other coaches. I am also the supervisor for a program called Before & After Care, which is a child care program held in the morning and afternoons. As a supervisor, I am responsible for creating schedules and time sheets, as well as other duties that come with managing staff.

How does this position help with your career goals?

This job fits in very well with my exercise science major because I have spent the last few years learning about the importance of exercise in children, and now I get to design a program to promote that! I would love to be a Cross Country or Track coach someday, so this is the perfect way to gain experience.

Did Simpson play a role in helping you get these internships? If so, how?

The classes I have taken for my major have prepared me well and taught me how to create an effective track program.

How has your experience as a student-athlete been helpful in this position?

My experience as a student-athlete has helped tremendously because I am able to take what I have learned from my coaches and share that with the athletes that I am now coaching. Being an athlete is helpful because I can put myself in the kids’ shoes and understand what they are going through.