USD cross country men place 12th, women 14th at regionals

SPRINGFIELD, MO – The South Dakota cross country teams both recorded top-15 finishes at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships at the Missouri State University Cross Country Course.

Senior Ethan Marquardt (Albert Lea, MN) finished 38th to lead the men to a 12th-place finish in the 29-team field, while Amber Eickhorn's (Wichita, KS) 56th-place finish lifted the women to a 14th-place finish in the 31-team women's race.

Both teams topped several big name schools in the region.  The men bested Iowa (13th), Kansas State (21st), Nebraska (27th) and Creighton (29th).  The women topped Missouri (16th), Kansas State (19th), Nebraska (23rd), and Creighton (29th).

Marquardt finished the 10K with a time of 31:15.12.  Jeff Mettler (Eureka) was the next finisher for USD, placing 57th in 31:44.98.  Mubarik Musa (Worthington, MN) capped off his freshman season with a 66th-place finish in 32:02.52.

Benson Langat (Kapsabet, Kenya) finished fourth-best for South Dakota in 109th (33:02.35), while Isaac Allen (Lincoln, NE) in 111th (33:04.79) and Alex Hohenthaner (Yankton) in 159th (34:15.43) rounded out the men's effort.

The men had the second-best finish in the meet by a Summit League team.  South Dakota State was the top team from the conference with 340 points.  The Coyotes had 379 points.

Oklahoma and Oklahoma State tied for the win in the men's race with a score 45.  Tulsa (47), Illinois (154), and Missouri (173) rounded out the top-five.

For the women, Eickhorn finished the 6K with a time of 22:01.36.  Megan Hilson (Yankton) placed 58th in 22:04.49, and Ali Gress (Papillion, NE) crossed the finish in 72nd at 22:19.96.  Both Hilson and Gress had with their best 6K times of the season.

Also placing in the top-100 was Britni Waller (Lincoln, NE) in 94th with a season-best of 22:40.85.  Jessica Brandli (Rapid City) finished 113th in 22:59.40, Katie Wetzstein (Hudson, WI) was 136th in 23:27.11, and Carol Miller (Mead, NE) was 141st in 23:29.79.

The women also had the second-best showing for the conference with 380 points.  North Dakota State placed seventh in the meet with 232 points.

Iowa State took home first-place with 63 points, while Oklahoma State finished second with 95.  Minnesota was third with 96, Northwestern was fourth with 204 and Tulsa was fifth with 218.

Barring invitations to the NCAA National Championships in Louisville, KY next weekend, the meet wrapped up the season for both teams.  The men will lose only Marquardt to graduation for next season, while the women will graduate Miller, Brandli, Gress, and Sigornie Pfefferle (Grand Island, NE).

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