First-place finish a sign of things to come for Simpson XC


Photo taken by Coby Berg

by Madison DePover, Video Editor

The Simpson cross country mens’ and womens’ teams opened their season with both teams coming in first at the Bill Buxton Invitational on Aug. 30.

Leading the women’s team to first place were senior Audrey Klein, sophomores Katie Murano, Kyli Orr and Sophie Hall.

“We’re excited with our first place finish,” Klein said. “We know that we are better and faster from last year and excited to get better together as a team.”

Leading the men’s team were freshman Spencer Moon and Eric Baldus, senior Jonathan Facio and junior Cale Billheimer. 

“I think both groups put in our best summer of training yet,” said head coach of the men’s and women’s team Heath Moenck. “Coach Kirby, who helps me coach the ladies, he had an awesome summer training program and the women executed very well and I think that showed at our home meet. Our men also had a great summer of training, they also looked really sharp the first meet. It was really great to see all their hard work show.” 

Moenck mentioned how his team has come together this offseason to push each other.

“The team, like all teams, is competitive,” Klein said. “But we have made it our mission this year to focus on positivity and motivational self-talk while were running and racing. We want to constantly pick each other up and motivate each other to do better.”

According to Moenck, the team is well on their way to reach their goals for the season. 

“We are always looking to improve, so our men are fifth in the conference and our conference is one of the top Division III conferences in the country,” Moenck said. “Our women are also trying to be fourth or fifth in the conference again this year. I think that both are very realistic as both groups returned a bulk of their varsity runners so it should be very capable of moving up in our conference and our region.”

Going into the rest of the season, Simpson is looking to improve each week; so they can be at their best when conference comes in November. 

“Everyone is feeling good,” Moenck said. “Most importantly everyone is healthy and they’re really excited to take this three-week training block between meets and put in some big miles and solid work outs. So, I like where we are at right now.”

The Simpson cross country team is ready to do big things together. Both men’s and women’s next meet is Friday, Sept. 20 in Peoria, IL at 5 p.m.