Men’s and women’s cross country turns stellar performance Friday

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by Brock Borgeson, Sports Editor

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – For the Simpson men’s and women’s cross country teams, it was their first time in a varsity race since running in the Augustana Twilight Race on Sept. 4.

They didn’t show any signs of rust though as the men placed 16th/50 teams and the women even better at 11th/50 at the Brissman-Lundeen Invitational on Friday night.

The field on both the men’s and women’s side included teams from Division I, II, III and even NAIA, as both fields hosted well over 300 runners. 

Blake Willadsen led the way on the men’s side, finishing 104th with a time of 26:92. Behind him was Ian McKenzie in 109th and Nick Yaeger in 122nd.

The men harriers compiled a score of 540, just one spot behind Goshen College as the University of Illinois finished first. IIAC-rival, Wartburg College, placed second with a score of 114.

Rebecca Diemer picked up where she left off from her first meet with Simpson, placing 27th after a time of 23:20.1 to lead an improving women’s squad. 

Sadie Timms, a mainstay from last year’s team, was next up in 37th, followed by Stacie Ahlers who would placed 70th.

The Storm women earned a score of 339, just behind UW-Whitewater as Division II Ferris State University finished first. Wartburg College finished second.

The cross country team has its quickest turnaround of the season as they head to Waverly for the Dan Hutson Invite on Oct. 3.