Cross country team focused on regionals

by Nicole Dillenburg and Jeremy DuBois

Simpson’s men’s and women’s cross country teams are near the close of the fall season and focused on regionals.

Led by junior Jade Osborne, the Simpson women’s cross country team received a seventh place finish at the Iowa Conference Championship. Osborne completed the six-kilometer course with a time of 24:05:1.

Shortly behind Osborne was sophomore Annie Hills who placed second for the Storm with a time of 24:49:1 that landed her in 48th place.

The rest of the Storm placed in the 25-minute span, which consisted of Courtney Licht receiving 56th place, Signe Mayland at 62nd, senior Maddy McAvery at 67th and senior Erin Guzman at 73rd. This was the last conference meet the Storm participated in leading up to regionals.

“Now that conference has passed, I cannot be more proud of the results,” Osborne said. “Regionals are going to hold some high expectations. Since we are running at Wartburg, which is a course we are extremely familiar with, we should know where we have to push ourselves and where we have to give it our all and bring it into the finish.”

Head coach Heath Moenck and assistant coach Ben Robison decided only six team members will be going to regionals, consisting of: Osborne, Licht, McAvery, Mayland and sophomores Lindsey Borgomainerio and Shelby King.

The preparation for regionals is no different than the Storm’s typical routine.

“We are preparing this week just like we have always done,” Osborne said. “Practices are still hard, just not as long, but next week we will be cutting our training way down. That way our legs are nice and rested for regionals (so) we perform at our best abilities.”

The Storm has set strong goals for their upcoming regional meet in hopes of receiving the best result they can get.

“For the next meets, we are all wanting to get (personal records) and close the gap between our number one though our number seven runner,” King said. “We are wanting to improve from our last meet.”

As the season comes to a close, the team knows it will lose five seniors, three being in the top seven this year. Regardless of the loss, the Storm remains optimistic.

“We’re losing so many girls due to graduation so I’m excited to see our incoming athletes,” Hills said.

Even if the team does not receive a lot of incoming freshman, Osborne believes that the team will come in fit for the season.

“Our returning members are going to be even stronger and faster,” Osborne said. “Running is one major sport where you can directly see just how good you are by how hard you trained.”

The men’s team is also preparing to close out the season as runners and coaches look forward to the spring track season after this year’s improvement. The men’s team placed sixth of nine in the Iowa Conference Championships.

“We have tried to improve with each day this season,” Moenck said. “We have been fortunate to have good health, and this has allowed us to improve with each passing meet.”

Moenck said the leadership provided by the seniors this year heavily contributed to the team’s improvement.

“Our seniors have been great leaders all season,” Moenck said. “They bring a great work ethic and attitude each day that is contagious.”

Senior Ryan Edwardson was considered a team leader throughout the season. He placed first at the Dan Huston Invite on Oct. 8 and wants to finish his last season strong.

“I am not ready to be done running for Simpson yet,” Edwardson said. “I have hopefully two meets left, and I am intending to finish on a strong, high note.”

Edwardson said the men’s team is satisfied with the season even if it had higher expectations.

“We didn’t move up in the conference as much as we would have liked, but the conference is stronger this year than it has been the past couple,” Edwardson said. “Our times were certainly faster.”

The Storm are ready to get back on track for the spring season and look forward to that competition to dictate the future fall cross country season.

“Our goals for next year will dictate on how our track season goes,” Moenck said. “If you can’t get it done on the track then it is hard to perform in cross country.”

With two meets left, the Simpson men’s and women’s cross country teams will compete Saturday at the NCAA Central Region Championships in Waverly, with the National Championships to follow on Nov. 19 in Oshkosh, Wis. if any Storm runners qualify.