Bluejay Cross country runs its final race

The Tabor College cross-country season ended Saturday at McPherson when both the women’s and men’s teams placed seventh at the Region IV championships at Rolling Acres Gold Course.

The Park University women claimed top honors with 32 points while the Tabor finished with 163 points.

Southwestern College took top honors in the men’s division with 27 points while Tabor scored 173.

Heidi Schmidt earned All-Region IV honors by placing 11th with a time of 20 minutes, 38 seconds.

“Heidi ran a competitive race and is the first Tabor runner to be named all-regional,” coach Karol Hunt said. “She ran a quicker time today on a more difficult course than she did last week at the conference meet.

“The top five not on the winning team qualify for nationals,” Hunt explained. “Heidi was two places and 17 seconds from qualifying (so) now we know what we have to do for next year to get to nationals.”

Amber Wiens finished 32nd in 21:41.

“That was positive for Amber to finish as our second runner,” Hunt said. “She has battled a hip injury most of the season and (has been) frustrated with not performing up to her expectations.”

Also running for Tabor were Bridgette Stevens (56th, 23:20), Tiffany Stevens (57th, 23:21), Shelby Miller (58th, 23:31), Rebekah Lockhart (60th, 23:31) and Ashley Schmidt (63rd, 23:43).

For the Bluejay men, Jeff Anenson led the way by placing 34th in 29:58.

“Jeff recovered from a disappointing race at the conference meet last week,” Hunt said.

Not far behind was Kyle Larson, who placed 38th in 30:16.

Tabor’s only senior, Matt Lynam, concluded his career finishing 44th in 30:36.

“Matt ran a strong race, taking 2:27 off the time he ran on this course in September,” Hunt said. “He has been a major contributor to Tabor cross country the last four seasons and we will really miss his work ethic and his leadership.”

Also running for Tabor were Kevin Larson (45th, 30:47), Zac Remboldt (53rd, 31:32), Richard Galli (56th, 31:57) and Will Higerd (60th, 32:31).

“Zac and Richard ran 1:30 and 1:00 respectively faster on this course today than earlier in the season,” Hunt said. “Both have learned quite a bit about running on this level this season and have learned a lot about the mental toughness it takes to run consistently over a 12-week season.

“Will’s final three races of the season have been between 32:03 and 32:47,” she added. “He’s beginning to develop a consistency in his running and that speaks well for how hard he works.”

Hunt said the foundation has been established for future years with the loss of only one senior.

“Matt is the only runner we lose from these two teams,” she said. “We have a strong base for the future.”

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