Two weeks after their last meet, the Minnesota State cross country teams will line up for their final race before the NSIC Championships.
This week, the Mavs will be in Sioux City, Iowa for the Briar Cliff Invite, hosted by the Briar Cliff University Chargers. Both the men’s and women’s teams will be competing as usual, with the men running the 8k and the women racing in a 5k.
The women will race first at 10:30 a.m. and six hours later, the men will line up for their part in the meet at 4:30 p.m. This will be the first time both teams have participated in the Briar Cliff Invite.
Through their first three meets, the men’s team has placed fifth out of 32 teams at the Augie Twilight, third out of 15 teams at the Running of the Cows and sixth of 33 teams at the Roy Griak Invitational.
Senior Tanner Meier has consistently been the men’s top finisher, placing fifth at the Augie Twilight with a time of 19:34.58, third place at the Running of the Cows at 25:13.2 and third again at the Roy Griak Invitational, crossing the finish line with a time of 25:45.2. Additionally, he was awarded NSIC Athlete of the Week after his performance at the Running of the Cows. Junior Raye Ure has also consistently finished second behind Meier throughout the year.
The women are finding success this year as well, finishing sixth at Augie, third at the Running of the Cows and fourth at the Roy Griak. In the most recent USTFCCCA poll, they were ranked 28th in all of Division II.
Senior MaKenna Thurston and junior Emily Cunningham have been the stars of the show for the team this far, consistently finishing in the top tier of runners. Thurston has finished seventh at the Augie Twilight, second at the Running of the Cows with a time of 20:12.7 and 12th at the Roy Griak while running alongside Cunningham for most of the race. Cunningham finished 10th at that race, while placing fifth at the running of the Cows and 14th at the Augie Twilight. Junior Makayla Bishop has also been a great third option for the team.
Both teams look to be in excellent shape with the NSIC Championships, NCAA Regionals and Championships around the corner, but for now, the Briar Cliff Invite will be their focus.
Header Photo: As the season winds down, the teams will redirect their attention to the bigger stages of the NSIC And NCAA Championships. (Photo courtesy of Mansoor Ahmad)
Write to Hayden Lee at email@example.com