The Mustangs’ nationally ranked men’s cross country team captured their second team championship of the season with a victory at the Mount Marty Invitational.
Nationally ranked Morningside edged a pair of GPAC rivals for the men’s team title at Saturday’s Mount Marty College Invitational cross country meet in Yankton, S.D.
The Mustangs, ranked 10th nationally in the latest NAIA poll, finished with 68 points to edge Northwestern (73) and Dordt (74) in a tight three-team battle for top honors in the 10-team field.
It was the second team championship of the season for the Mustangs, who captured top honors at Doane College’s Dean White Invitational earlier this season.
The Mustang women also made a strong showing at the Mount Marty Invitational with a runner-up finish behind GPAC rival Dordt, which finished with 48 points. Morningside had 80 points to finish ahead of NCAA Division II Nebraska-Omaha (91) and nationally ranked Concordia (101), which is 22nd in the latest NAIA Top 25.
Mark Abrams, a senior from Glenwood, Iowa, led the Mustang men to victory with a time of 25:42.46 over the 8k course for the third fastest time in the field. Sean Skillern, a junior from Shenandoah, Iowa, also cracked the top 10 with the seventh place time of 26:18.81 and Alex Janssen, a sophomore from Crofton, Neb., just missed with the 13th place time of 26:29.63.
The Mustangs’ other counters in the team scoring were Jake Weber, a sophomore from Dunlap, Iowa, who finished 20th with a time of 26:49.40, and Zach Waite, a junior from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who was 35th with a time of 27:17.40.
Tiffany Shepherd, a junior from Corning, Iowa, ran one of the best races of her career with a time of 18:35.62 over the 5k course to finish as the women’s individual runner-up.
Michelle Mumm, a sophomore from Neola, Iowa, also gave the Mustangs one of her best efforts with a time of 18:42.46 for fifth place. The Mustangs also had a top 20 finish from Morgan Applegarth, a freshman from Lincoln, Neb., who finished 15th with a time of 19:09.63, while Allison Higgins, a sophomore from Jefferson, Iowa, was 23rd with a time of 19:31.32.
The Mount Marty Invitational was the Mustangs’ final tune-up for the 2015 GPAC Cross Country Championships slated for Nov. 7 in Crete, Neb.