CRETE, Neb. – The Concordia women’s cross country team defended its Dean White Invitational title on Saturday (Sept. 26), notching its first team victory of the season, finishing with 35 points. The Bulldog men raced to a second-place finish with 54 points.
In the women’s race, the Bulldogs ran away from the competition, defeating second-place Doane by 31 points. Kylahn Heritage paced the Bulldogs while finishing as the runner up with a time of 19:48.87. Joining Heritage in the top-ten was freshman Grace Reiman (20:13.36, 4th) and senior Lydia Cook (21:04.67, 8th).
“We had our entire women’s team there for the first time,” Head Coach Matt Beisel said. “We knew people would be going out fast, so we planned for our top-three runners to run together up until the first mile and we executed our plans perfectly.”
Senior Sydney Clark had a strong showing in her debut, finishing in 12th place with a time of 21:12.46. Both Cook and Clark fell victim to a misleading course, which reflected in their overall times.
“When the lead female runners were supposed to run around the tree flagging, the flagging was misleading,” Beisel said. “One of the runners ahead of Cook and Clark ran the wrong way; therefore, they followed. The runners continued the wrong way for about 50-60 meters; as a result, they gained about 25-30 seconds.”
The rest of the top 10 Bulldog runners on Saturday included: Abi DeLoach (21:19.34; 13th), Amie Martin (21:19.47; 15th), Alyssa Fye (21:24.72; 16th); Keri Bauer (21:49.32; 21st), Alyssa Bierwagen (21:59.01; 24th) and Mollie Rathjen (22:27.62; 30th).
The Concordia men finished in second place, 13 points behind rival Doane as four Bulldogs recorded top 20 finishes. Sophomore Camden Sesna led the charge for the Bulldogs finishing in fourth place with a time of 27:38.02. He was joined in the top 20 by teammates Owen Dawson (28:32.81; 11th), Jordan Lorenz (28:42.81; 12th), Antonio Blaine (28:45.00; 14th) and Ethan Hensley (29:27.09; 20th).
“Camden Sesna was fantastic again,” Beisel noted. “Owen Dawson and Ethan Hensley deserve a lot of credit for our second-place finish. They both caught a lot of runners in the back portion of the race. Our seven men all finished in front of Doane’s but we needed one more in the top five to catch them on points.”
The top 10 for the Bulldogs was rounded out by Nick Price (29:36.97; 24th), Ethan Pankow (29:38.67; 25th), Ethan Ideus (29:58.48; 30th), Calvin Rohde (30:10.17; 31st), Wyatt Lehr (30:16.79; 32nd) and Nick Zadar (30:20.39; 33rd).
Beisel told both of his squads to build on the outcomes from today in order to be stronger in the future.
“I told them it has been on my heart that whatever the outcome today, we give glory to god,” Beisel said. “After the meet, we had a mix of good bad. We got together and prayed while looking forward to Briar Cliff.”
The season will continue next Saturday (Oct. 3) at the Briar Cliff Invitational located in North Sioux City, S.D. Race time is set for 10 a.m. CT.