The Simpsonian

Simpsonian Student-Athlete of the Week

by Brock Borgeson, Sports Editor

Men’s & Women’s Cross Country:

Blake Willadsen led the men’s cross country team to a 13th/29 finish in the NCAA Central Regional Championships, finishing 38th/198 runners and the women’s cross country team improved 13 places from two years ago to earn this week’s Simpsonian Student-Athlete feature.

“We couldn’t have run any better,” head coach Heath Moenck said. “It was great to put together a complete team race.”

Willadsen

Willadsen has led the Storm in every race he has competed in this season and his 26:41.6 finish in Pella on Saturday was just three spots shy of earning him all-region accolades.

Sophomore Ian McKenzie was only 10 seconds behind Willadsen for 47th as the men beat out Iowa Conference rivals Coe, Dubuque and Buena Vista.

“Blake and Ian showed absolutely terrific improvement from last year to this year,” Moenck said.

Storm women improve

Despite missing one of the team’s best runners in Rebecca Diemer, Simpson had four of its seven in the top 100, led by junior Sadie Timms, who placed 54th/205 with a time of 23:58.9 on the 6K course.

Two years ago the women placed second to last in the regional competition, and this season the Storm made the jump to 15th/30 teams.

St. Thomas was the overall winner and Simpson finished ahead of four IIAC schools, including Central, who placed 16th.

“I was really proud of our girls for their improvement,” Moenck said. “To finish in the top half of the region is a great accomplishment.”

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