NORTH BEND, Neb. – Midland University’s cross country teams competed in the Great Plains Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships on Saturday November 3 in nearby North Bend, Nebraska at the North Bend Golf Course. The runners competed in 43 degree weather on a course that was wet from the morning rain, however, the rain would stop just before the race was to start.
Both the men’s and women’s team finished 6th overall on the day for the Warriors. Dordt College had the top runner in both the men’s and women’s races and also finished first as a team in both races, winning the GPAC Championship title.
Out front for the Lady Warriors was Braska Patterson, as she finished 18th overall (19:44.73) in potentially her last race as a Warrior. When asked about the race for the women and how they competed, head Coach Erich Whitemore was pleased. “The women were ranked seventh going in to the meet and finished sixth. That was one of our goals going in to the meet. Braska Patterson ran a strong race from start to finish that led to a top 20 finish in her last GPAC cross country meet. I was very happy with how aggressive and how hard the women competed. Their improvement all season was fun to watch.”
On the men’s side for the Warriors, freshman CJ Martinez had a strong performance as he finished 11th in the 8K event (26:36.08), in his first GPAC Cross Country Championship race. “He (CJ) ran a smart race and we are very excited about having him for another three years.” Coach Whitemore said about the young freshman runner. “Cortland Cassidy and Ty Hansen were the next two in for us. The pace early on was very fast and our excitement probably got the best of us. Alex France was our fourth runner and we were very excited about how he ran all year for us.”
The Warriors will graduate three senior runners this year in, Ty Hensen, Cortland Cassidy, and Braska Patterson. Their hard work, dedication and leadership is surely going to be missed next year
While Midland did not qualify for the NAIA National Cross Country Championships as a team, there is still hope than an individual qualifier might make it yet. The field of teams and runners for the races to be held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa will be official announced Wednesday, November 7th at 5:00 p.m.