Tabor cross country teams place among top five

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
Home cooking tasted sweet for the Tabor College cross country Saturday as the women placed third and the men fifth in a 12-team field at the Tabor Invitational at Cottonwood Point, Marion Reservoir.

Freshman Heidi Schmidt led the women, finishing eighth with a personal-best of 19 minutes, 53 seconds. Right behind her was Angie Jost, who placed 10th in 19:59.

Also competing for Tabor were Amber Wiens (21st, 20:41), Tiffany Stevens (35th, 21:51) and Rebekah Lockhart (49th, 22:55).

The Bluejays were missing two runners: Kendra Raber, who has a broken arm, and Jennie Throne, out because of knee surgery.

“The women placed third behind two junior college teams (Butler and Hutchinson) ranked in the top 10 nationally,” coach Karol Hunt said. “Heidi is running really well right now and she broke into the 19s for the first time.

“Angie turned in a good performance despite not feeling well all week,” she added. “Our main goal this week was to make the 20:30 standard in order to be nominated for the NAIA Academic All-American honor.”

Hunt said Wiens, Stevens and Lockhart turned in personal-best times as well.

“We have been pretty solid with the first three finishers, and we’ve been focusing on closing the gap with the fourth and fifth runners,” Hunt said. “We’ve made a lot of progress. Little things can make a big difference in a team.

“The women really did well-everyone contributed to the strong performance.”

For the men, Anthony Bartlett was the top finisher for Tabor, placing 26th in a personal-best time of 29:24 seconds.

Following him were Jeff Anenson (35th, 29:50), Kevin Larson (44th, 30:23), Matt Lynam (45th, 30:34), Kyle Larson (47th, 30:48) and Michael Norris (56th, 32:33).

Hunt said the Bluejay men suffered a blow during the course of the past week.

“We found out this week that Pete Richert, the No. 1 runner from the 2003 team, is out for the season with a knee injury,” she said. “We’re in the process of refocusing and looking for more consistency from race to race.

“Pete is providing leadership from the sidelines, but I’m still looking forward to the other guys stepping up more,” she added. “We’re still a young team and that only comes with time.”

Coming-Tabor heads west on Saturday to compete at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. The men will run at 9:30 a.m., and the women at 10:30 a.m.

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