Tabor’s men’s and women’s cross-country teams competed at the NAIA Mid-States Classic Saturday hosted by Southwestern College.
“Initially almost everyone was disappointed with how they ran,” said coach Dan Swaney, referring to slower times than at the Fort Hays State meet two weeks ago. “It was a bit warm Saturday morning, so I think that affected times more than we expected.”
The men’s team came home with an 11th-place finish. Joel Allen led the way, finishing 18th out of 219 runners in 25 minutes, 36 seconds.
“Joel actually ran significantly faster this year and placed lower, because the race was a lot more competitive this year,” Swaney said. “I think it would have been close to his personal record?at Fort Hays two weeks ago if the weather had been cooler.”
Garrett Daugherty, the Bluejays’ No. 2 runner, placed 40th in 26:26.
Also competing in the 8-kilometer race were Jacob Heil (61st, 26:56), Nathan Vogel (123rd, 28:34), Bret Mueller (140th, 29:07), Anthony Garcia (205th, 33:55) and Jon Gutierrez (210th, 34:53).
“Heil is a definite contender for a national qualifying spot and still has the fourth fastest time in the conference,” Swaney said. “He’ll be a lot fresher at conference.
“So we potentially have three guys (including Daugherty) who could qualify for nationals, which is very exciting.”
The Tabor women earned a 12th-place finish, led by Brielle Lund, who earned her fifth KCAC Runner of the Week recognition for a ninth-place finish in 18:44. She was also the first KCAC finisher.
“Especially with her performance Saturday, she is by far the odds-on favorite to win the conference championship,” Swaney said. “I wanted her to run a race that was fast enough that it would be very convincing, and she did that.”
Also competing were Makenzie King (76th, 20:34), Ashley Kemling (79th, 20:37), Hannah Holmes (97th, 21:11) and Kirsten Harris (53rd, 24:07).
“(Holmes) is getting healthier and finally getting more confidence that she is able to run faster again,” Swaney said. “We finally had a team again and finished 12th overall and third in the conference. So that gives me hope that we can finish third at the championships, which is a huge step.”
The Bluejays finished seventh last season.
Coming—The Bluejays have a week to rest before traveling to Ottawa to compete in the KCAC Championship Saturday, Nov. 3. Both teams are hoping for a third-place finish. The meet is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m.
“If we could finish in third that would be the best finish in a number of years,” coach Dan Swaney said.