Cross Country meet lures alumni and friends


by Laura Dillavou

On a crisp, clear October morning, 55 Simpson cross countryrunners, alumni and family members took to the hills of PickardPark in the annual Simpson College Cross Country Alumni and FriendsMeet.

Sponsored by the cross country team, this event serves as a wayfor alumni, whether from 1983 or 2003, to meet the current Simpsonrunners, as well as catch up with old teammates. It also serves asa fundraiser for the cross country team. This year, the race had anespecially good turnout of alumni, with 2003 Hall of Fame inducteeChristina Wickering-Cunningham running along side current studentsand former teammates.

Cross country coach Erin Bresnan saw many benefits to theHomecoming activity.

“I am pleased with the amount of alumni that came out. It allowsthem to put a face with the names that are in the news now,” saidBresnan. “It is also a great way to develop a relationship betweenthe alumni and current students.”

Race participants had the option of running a two-mile or 5kcourse. The cross country team used this event as training for theupcoming conference meet next week at Pickard Park. For others,however, it is a fun way to get out, enjoy time with friends, andalso get a little exercise.

Terrie Esser-Price, a 1990 graduate, proudly claimed that her 5ktime of 23:11 was only five minutes off her time in college.

“We love Simpson. Seven people in our family went here, and it’sfun to come back,” said Esser-Price. “We like to see the changes atSimpson, and boy have things changed since 1990! And of course,it’s fun to see ex-teammates and friends again, too.”

Current cross country runner, junior Dan Saar, has participatedin the event for the last three years.

“It’s a lot of fun to see the guys from last year. This is justa fun race, there is no pressure, and everyone is out there for agood cause,” said Saar.

Young and old came out for the day, with family members as youngas 10 years old running in a college atmosphere.

Zach Allison, a 2003 graduate, came out for the competition andthe chance to see his old teammates.

“This was fun,” said Allison. “I love to get out there and run,compete and see the guys. I try and keep up on my running and thisis a chance to use it.”

Wickering-Cunningham, who is a 1991 All-American runner and Hallof Fame inductee, now uses her talents and dedication as a coach inClear Lake, IA.

“I feel very honored to receive this [Hall of Fame induction],”said Wickering-Cunningham. “This is an excellent team and greatcompetition. Simpson has just given so much to me and I really amthankful for all of it.”

“This is such a fun way for the cross country family to comeback together,” said Bresnan. “People continue to run throughouttheir lives, and this is a great event that supports thatdedication.”