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Kimber Finishes Fourth at Fighting Bee Opener

September 6, 2013

Imagine opening the college cross country season on a very hilly course in 100 degree heat. Not ideal conditions for the young Monmouth College Mens’ and Womens’ teams who ran in this last Friday at the Fighting Bee Opener at Crow Creek Park in Bettendorf, Iowa.

The Scots’ top woman, junior Kyra Kimber did not allow those conditions to defeat her, finishing a respectable fourth out of 55 runners in the 4000 meter race – clocking a time of 15:20.

Kimber ended up 14 seconds behind winner Becca Wilder of St. Ambrose, which had five finishers in the top ten. Augustana College also had five athletes placed them all in the top eleven.

Other Scots that provided solid efforts were Alyssa Edwards (16:23) and Thea Bloom (16:27), and they ended up 12th and 13th, respectively. Maggie Brundige, Brittany Daniel, Kaley Lobb, and Katelynn Propes also battled in the hot weather.

Joe Levita led the Monmouth men with a sixth place time of 18:06 in the 5000 meters, followed by Deonta Motely at 18:50; Erik Ruud at 19:22; Rik Williams at 19:26; Dustin Watts at 19:53; and Jacob Marx at 19:22. The mens’ race fielded 22 runners.

Junior Rik Williams commented on the race, “Since the race was shorter than normal, it was a test run in a way that we could point out the things we do well and aspects of our race model that we need to work on in preparation for our next meet.”

Fourth place achiever for the women’s 4000m distance race, Kimber, also gained insight from the Fighting Bee Opener.

“Last week’s performance definitely reminded me of my summer training – just how hot and humid it was at that time of the day,” Kimber said. “And that is how I got through the race mentally.

“I ended up in 4th place over all so that was pretty exciting for a first race. However, I believe there is always room for improvement. I plan to stay focused and continue working hard. My future goals include being all-conference and qualifying for nationals.”

Coach Roger Haynes lauded Kimber’s effort andlooks forward to both of the squads’ season-long improvement on the tough courses.

“We were not as ready for the hills as we will be later on in the season,” Haynes said. The conference course at Grinnell is pretty hilly, so we need to improve on that area.

“I like the athletes we have on our team. We are very young and inexperienced at college cross country, but I feel we have the ability to improve over the upcoming weeks.

Roger Haynes coaches both Monmouth College’s teams with the assistance of Brian Woodard and Jon Welty. Next they travel to Grinnell, Iowa on September 14 for the Grinnell College Les Duke Invitational.

Julianna Graf
Contributing Writer

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