Bluejay cross-country teams run to eighth place finishes at Baker University

The Tabor College cross-country teams opened their competitive schedule at Baldwin City on Saturday at the Baker University Maple Leaf Invitational.

The men’s and women’s teams both came home with eighth-place finishes.

For the women, who scored 215 points, sophomore Heidi Schmidt picked up where she left off in 2004 by leading the Bluejay runners with a 45th-place finish with a time of 14 minutes, 14 seconds in the 3,200-meter race.

Following her were Bridgette Stevens (47th, 14:17), Amber Wiens (48th, 14:18), Shelby Miller (53rd, 14:27), Ashley Schmidt (54th, 14:21), Tiffany Stevens (56th, 14:39) and Rebekah Lockhart (72nd, 15:41).

“The women worked well together as a team today,” coach Karol Hunt said.

“We are a young group and
were able to effectively push each other.”

The Tabor men tallied 250 points and were led by junior Jeff Anenson, who placed 51st with a time of 18:41 in the 5-kilometer race.

Kyle Larson used a late surge to finish 52nd (18:45) while Kevin Larson was 58th (18:59), Matt Lynam 64th (19:12), Zac Remboldt 72nd (19:45), Richard Galli 85th (20:27), Brandon Voth 87th (20:34) and Will Higerd 91st (20:56) among 109 runners.

“Matt, Jeff, Kyle and Kevin are the four returning runners from the 2004 squad and their maturity showed,” Hunt said. “Experience is so vital to a team’s success.”

Hunt said her three freshman runners, Remboldt, Galli and Voth, each learned valuable lessons in their first foray into college cross country.

“It’s one thing for me to try to communicate that they can compete at this level,” Hunt said. “But they must believe it for themselves. That happened through this meet.”

Hunt said it was nice to see Will Higerd return to competition after missing last season because of a military obligation.

“This meet was a good start to our season,” Hunt said. “We have only been working out as a team for a week and a half, so we know we have a long way to go to reach our potential and goals.

“However, these early short-distance races break up practice and are an excellent source of feedback for us.”

Tabor returns to action this Friday when they travel to Lake Afton for the Friends Invitational meet.

The women’s race will begin at 6 p.m. and the men’s at 6:45 p.m.

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