NCAA CROSS COUNTRY: SMSU men eighth, women 11th at NSIC Championships

SIOUX FALLS – The Southwest Minnesota State University men’s cross country team finished in eighth place out of 13 teams, while the women’s team finished 11th out of 15 teams, at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Championships on Saturday at Yankton Trails Park in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Augustana won the men’s team championship with 18 points, well ahead of second place Sioux Falls, which finished with 84 points. Paul Yak, of Augustana, won the individual title with a time of 25:07. It was Augustana’s fifth straight team title and the second straight individual championship for Yak. The SMSU men’s team finished with 218 points.

Trent Smith led the way for SMSU with a 24th-place finish in the 111-person, 8,000-meter race in 26:26. Alejandro Sanchez recorded a 26:44 to finish in 31st, while O.J. Ojullu crossed the line in 35th place in 26:49. Alex Solheim finished in 76th place in 28:37, followed by Kelly Fitzsimmons in 81st place with a 28:37, Blake Wooten in 89th with a 29:01 and Schuyler Canfield in 90th place with a 29:02 to round out SMSU’s scores.

Also competing for SMSU was Chris Kveseth, who finished in 97th overall in 29:50; Austin Handley placed 100th in 30:00 and Andrew Feucht took 103rd place in 30:42.

Minnesota Duluth won the women’s team title with 50 points, while Augustana was second with 67 points. Jennifer Agnew, of the University of Mary, won the women’s individual title with a time of 20:35. The SMSU women recorded 369 points.

Amanda Grengs was SMSU’s top finisher in 6,000-meter race in 23:53 to finish in 63rd place, while teammate Paige Yi finished right behind in 64th place in 23:54. Tatum Larson recorded an 88th place finish in 24:55, with Julia Sauder finished in 25:49 to earn a 101st place finish. Diana Moe (28:03), Hannah Dressen (28:19) and Emily Hartwig (30:27) rounded out SMSU’s team scores.

Both SMSU squads return to competition Saturday at the NCAA region championships, which will also be held at Yankton Trails Park in Sioux Falls.