Morningside finished first in the men’s race and second in the women’s race at the Herb Blakely Invitational cross country meet.
Morningside College’s men’s cross country team captured the team championship by a substantial margin when the Mustangs reigned at Saturday’s Dakota State University Herb Blakely Invitational in Madison, S.D.
The Mustangs scored 28 points to win by a 52-point margin over GPAC rival Hastings, which finished second with 80 points. NCAA Division II programs Northern State and Wayne State finished third and fourth in the seven-team field with 88 and 105 points, respectively.
It was also a solid meet for the Morningside women, who scored 46 points and finished as the runner-up by an 18-point margin behind NCAA Division II Northern State.
The five Morningside runners who figured in the team scoring in the 8-kilometer men’s race all finished in the top 11. Sean Skillern, a senior from Shenandoah, Iowa, finished third with a time of 26:45 to finish 13 seconds behind individual champion Lucas Keifer of Hastings and eight seconds behind former Morningside standout Mark Abrams, a four-time All-GPAC runner who competed unattached.
The Mustangs had another top five runner in Alec DeVries, a junior from Merrill, Iowa, who placed fifth with a time of 27:20, while Jason Kenny, a junior from Schaller, Iowa, just missed the top five with the sixth place time of 27:27.
Morningside’s other counters were Alex Janssen, a junior from Crofton, Neb., who finished 10th with a time of 27:48 and Jaden Lux, a senior from Cherokee, Iowa, who finished 11th with a time of 27:49.
Tiffany Shepherd, a senior from Corning, Iowa, was the runner-up in the women’s 5-kilometer race with a time of 19:16 to finish behind Northern State’s Dakotah Bullen, who ran the course in 18:13.
The Mustangs also had top 10 finishes from Payton Boer, a sophomore from Sioux Center, Iowa, and Morgan Applegarth, a sophomore from Lincoln, Neb., who finished seventh and 10th with times of 19:51 and 20:03, respectively.
Morningside’s other runners who figured in the team scoring were Natalie Lambert, a freshman from Paton, Iowa, who finished 12th with a time of 20:08, and Alexandra George, a freshman from Seward, Neb., who finished 15th with a time of 20:14.
The Mustangs will compete in the University of Minnesota’s Roy Griark Invitational on Sept. 24 in Falcon Heights, Minn.