SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Midland University began their 2019 cross country season over the weekend at the Ninth Annual Augustana Twilight in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The season opening race is unlike any other during the season as it takes place in the evening with the aid of lights from the nearby soccer stadium while other parts of the course are illuminated using glow sticks. The unique course attracts teams from all levels with NCAA Division I, Division II, NAIA and NJCAA teams running.
“We were very competitive with the GPAC schools with both the men’s and women’s teams,” commented head coach Daniel Gerber. “I think that our pack running and teamwork will only continue to improve and help our team scores. Our girls were eager to run. They all competed well and I was pleased with the results they had.”
The Warriors were one of eight GPAC teams running in the race joining Concordia, Dakota Wesleyan, Doane, Hastings, Morningside, Mount Marty, and Northwestern.
Leading the way for the Lady Warriors in the women’s 5k run was Vivian Sanchez. The sophomore from Fremont, Nebraska finished with a time of 20:28.88, placing 137th out of 306 runners. Paige Thelen, a senior from Stanton, Neb., was the second runner across the line for Midland finishing 202nd with a time of 21:25.62.
Other finishers for the Lady Warriors included: Ally Muessel, 22:15.47 (238th); Erin Kahnk, 22:17.74 (241st); Victoria Bitz, 23:24.55 (267th); Jaineily Ortiz, 25:10.61 (287th). The Midland women finished 22nd as a team.
On the men’s side the runners competed in a four mile course. Pacing the Warriors was freshman Jose Gonzalez of Fremont, Neb. He placed 42nd with a time of 20:11.27. Sophomore teammate C.J. Martinez, also of Fremont, had a time of 20:26.76. He placed 60th in the field of 321 runners.
Five other Warriors competed for the men who placed 18th as a team. Daniel Olson, 22:03.57 (183rd); Alex France, 22:20.63 (200th); Ross McMahon, 22:29.39 (214); Christian McCafferty, 22:29.81, and Dylan Hill, 23:62.94 (268th).
Up next for the Midland runners will be the Woody Greeno/Jay Dirksen Invitational. That race will take place on Saturday, September 21 in Lincoln, Nebraska.