Simpson cross country sweeps Bill Buxton Invitational


Simpson Athletics

Both Simpson Cross Country teams sweep Buxton Invitational

by Mo Marks, Staff Writer

On Sept. 2, both Simpson College cross country teams swept the Bill Buxton Invitational in Pickard Park. 

The men’s and women’s teams won their team competitions and took the top three spots in both races. The men’s team received a perfect score of 15, and the women received a score of 22. 

79 runners from five schools participated in the invitational, 40 of whom attended Simpson. 

First-year Emma Angus led the pack for the women, finishing the 4-kilometer race in 16 minutes, 37 seconds. Senior Cat Lucht crossed the finish line 7.8 seconds later, followed by sophomore Lara Kallem. 

Additionally, Macie Bopp, Mackenzie Laughlin, Sophie Hall, and Alayna Wallace also contributed to Simpson’s team win finishing seventh, ninth, tenth, and eleventh, respectively. 

The men’s team finished with a perfect team score of 15. Junior Spencer Moon won the 6-kilometer race in 19 minutes, 7.4 seconds, senior Harry Dudley crossed the line seconds later, and sophomore Drew Klein rounded out the top three. 

Noah Nelsen, Shane Breheny, Louden Foster, and Ryan Courtney rounded out Simpson’s top seven shut out. 

Head coach and director of cross country and track and field Heath Moenck explained that one of the team’s goals for the Bill Buxton Invitational was to have a tight pack upfront.

“In cross country, you can run as many men or women as we want, but we take our five lowest scores [for team rankings], so the goal is we don’t have a large gap from our 1 runner to our 5 runner,” Moenck said. 

Both teams achieved that goal. The women’s team ran an average time of 16:55.1 with a spread of 38.4 seconds between the team’s ranked runners. The men’s team ran an average time of 19:38.6 with a spread of 43.0 seconds between the team’s ranked runners. No other team at the Invitational, men or women, had a spread lower than two minutes. 

“I missed cross country season last year, so I was really excited to get back to it,” Kallem said. “It feels so good to have a lot more competition to run against. Last year we ran with just our team, so it’s nice to have a whole bunch of other people here!”

Both teams will be back in action at the Grinnell Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 11.