Mavericks finish fifth and sixth at Augie Twilight

Minnesota State men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Yankton Trail Park in Sioux Falls Friday, picking up fifth and sixth place in the five-kilometer course. 

Friday’s races were accompanied by breezy, humid conditions that inevitably delayed the competition until 9:10 p.m. as the Mavs competed under the lights for the eighth straight season. 

The men placed fifth (190), behind first place South Dakota State with a score of 62, St. Thomas (68), Nebraska (83) and Augustana (94). 

SDSU also had the top finisher of the night in freshman Carson Noecker with a time of 18:55.99, while MSU’s top man was senior Tanner Meier. The fifth-place time of 19:34.58 was second-best among Division II athletes. Junior Ray Ure also finished under 20 minutes with a time of 19:59.58, good enough for 16th place. 

Some other Mavericks made their mark at the race, as MSU had 9 of the top 100 runners. Junior Jacob Bennett placed 62nd with a time of 20:50.65, Junior Adam Bohm placed 76th (21:02.51) and Junior Leif Larsen finished two places lower with a time of 21:05.56. Two more MSU juniors in Nikolai Schmanski (79th, 21:06.02) and Caden Speikers (96th, 21:13.89) accompanied two sophomores, Tyler Lee (97th, 21:14.19) and Maqanuet Collins (99th, 21:15.89) to round out the top 100.

“Tonight we really just wanted to test our fitness level,” said head coach Ben Held in a press release posted to the MSU Athletics Website. “The goal was to put ourselves in positions to cover moves, attack the back side of the race and finish strong. I think all of the men handled their jobs really well for the first race of the year. We still have some race strategy to work on but that will come with time. We set out to finish in the top five and I am happy we accomplished that.”

Finishing in sixth place is a solid start for the women’s team as well. Nebraska finished in first place with a score of 43 and four top-10 runners. SDSU (66), Augustana (105), St. Thomas (141), and Nebraska Omaha (154) were the only teams to top MSU.

Senior Makenna Thurston finished with a seventh-place individual time of 17:51.51, which also placed her second among Division II competitors. Junior Emily Cunningham also finished in the upper echelon of runners with a time of 18:20.77, good enough for 14th place overall.

Six other Mavericks finished inside the top 100, including senior Cassidy O’Meara (61st, 19:17.02) and sophomore Madison Matzek (66th, 19:21.26) finishing in the top 70. Freshman Addison Peed (74th, 19:28.04), junior Makayla Bishop (77th, 19:28.73), sophomore Alexi MacDonald (78th, 19:29.77) and freshman Maria Selting (92nd, 19:48.41) also finished their first race strong.

“It was a good start,” said head coach Jen Blue in a press release posted to the MSU Athletics Website. “We need to work on closing our spread. If we can do that, big things will happen. MaKenna and Emily both had personal records and I felt Cassidy, Madison, Addison, and Alexi all ran a solid race with PR’s to round out our top seven. Overall, I was pleased and excited to see what we can do this season.”

Next up for both teams is Running of the Cows, in Northfield Minn. The men will race first at 10:30 a.m. and the women will follow at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16.

Write to Hayden Lee at

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