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Cross country 3rd, 5th at conference

November 3, 2017

This past weekend the men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Jacksonville, Illinois for the Midwest Conference Championship meet. Despite some October snow both teams competed well and ran their way to good finishes.

The men hit the course first and were greeted by some tough wind and a bit of snow fall. The 8,000 meter race got off to a fast start and the Scots positioned themselves nicely.

Senior Cooper Pauley was the first to cross the finish line for the Scots. Pauley placed 10th in the race with a time of 25:57. Tate Heiple finished 40 seconds behind Pauley with a time of 26:37. Heiple’s time was good enough for a 21st place finish.

The rest of the men’s squad grouped up and pushed each other to good finishes. Tyler Bland finished 29th overall with a time of 26:58 and freshman Griffin Morrill followed close behind in 27:14. Jay Gray was Monmouth’s fifth man with a time of 27:48.

Monmouth’s final two scorers were sophomore Tanner Heiple and junior Brandon Allsop. Heiple traveled the 8k course in 27:52 and finished 53rd overall and Allsop came through eleven seconds later.

Every runner on the men’s squad had a season best time at the championship meet. The team finished 5th overall as a team with 138 points.

“We didn’t get the finish we were hoping for as a team, but we saw a ton of improvement from the back half of our team.” said Tate Heiple after the race. “The best part was seeing the excitement of all the guys after the race. I hope we can take that excitement and put it into one more opportunity at regionals.”

The gun went off for the women’s 6,000 meter race at noon as the Scots aimed for even more season’s best in the second race of the day.

Senior Joanna Podosek finished first for the Scots and 4th overall in a time of 22:28. Following close behind was junior Caitlyn Allen, who finished 7th overall in 22:41. Monmouth’s third woman, Stephanie Saey, also cracked the top ten. Saey finished 9th with a time of 22:54 to give the Scots a fantastic 1-3 finish.

Senior Kelci Foss was Monmouth’s fourth finisher with a personal-best 23:20. Foss’ time was good enough for 20th and her first All-Conference medal.

Junior’s Kate Saulcy and Jessica Salinas finished in 38th and 42nd place. Saulcy ran 24:04 for the 6k course and Salinas came through six seconds later in 24:10. Natalia Bobak was the Scots final scorer with a time of 24:44. The women place third as a team, which is their highest finish since they won the championship in 2012.

“Everyone put in a lot of work throughout the season and it all came together on Saturday,” said Kelci Foss. “It was great to see everyone pack up and to have personal bests across the board.”

The Scots will have this weekend off before traveling to Rock Island next weekend for their NCAA regional meet.

Cooper Pauley
Sports Editor

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