Nov. 4—DICKINSON — Cold autumn weather added to the mental battle facing runners Friday at the Heart River Golf Course as it played host to the North Star Athletic Association conference meet. Dickinson State's Mens and Women's teams would ultimately come up short on furthering their season as a team, but will see two male and two female runners compete at nationals.
Frost delayed the mens' 8K and the women's 5K races into the afternoon, but once conditions were good to go, so were the runners. Dickinson's men and women teams would finish second in the meet behind Dakota State and Viterbo, respectively.
"Expect the unexpected in North Dakota in November," Shayne Wittkopp, DSU head coach, said. "It was 70 degrees when this course was set up on Wednesday."
Temperatures hung around the low 30s until later in the afternoon and would rise only to the mid 40s by race start.
The men's race would be won in dominating fashion by the Dakota State University Spartans, crowding the top ten with seven runners to complete their five-peat championship aspirations.
The top three teams would shake out with Dakota State taking 19 points, Dickinson State taking 67 and finishing bronze with 92 would be Viterbo.
The Spartans front runner Cody Farland was challenged for his race leading spot by Viterbo's Cameron La Mere, before finding second gear and expanding his separation down the stretch to clinch first place. Following La Mere was a wall of four Spartans.
Dickinson State's Colton Jensen, Will Flowers and Griffin Obrigewitch would finish among the top runners, finishing seventh, 11th and 12th respectively. Their finishing spots would keep DSU competitive.
Both Jensen (27:03) and Flowers (27:23) advanced to nationals — Jensen's second appearance on the national stage.
"I knew it was going to be cold out here so I took off a slow start, let the lactic [acid] slowly creep in there, so I'd have room to work with and it definitely paid off that second and third lap," Jensen said. "I was really rooting for my teammates coming after me... It is an awesome opportunity to go out and represent at nationals and I am so glad that Will made it with me, so I am not going alone this year."
Unlike last season, Dickinson State women's team did not take top the podium, but instead fell to Viterbo by 23 points. With a team total clock time of 1:37:28.50, the V-Hawks finished with a score of 32 points to steal the gold from the Blue Hawks. DSU followed with a score of 55 and seven athletes would find top 20 finishes — the most of any team.
Grace Timm was neck and neck with her running mate, Sarah Griffis, narrowly besting her down the stretch. No sore feelings would be had between the two, as they both clinched spots to compete at nationals.
"It is unreal and I am so glad that we made it," Timm said. "It was a really hard race, but somehow I managed to pull through... The big goal was for our whole team to win and go, but Viterbo had a fantastic race so I'll give credit to them. At least we have two of us going, so that is pretty exciting."
The national meet will take place at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Florida and is slated for Friday, Nov. 18.
Men's Team Scores:
1. Dakota State, 19
2. Dickinson State, 67
3. Viterbo, 92
4. Bellevue, 96
5. Valley City State, 106
6. Waldorf, 157
Women's Team Scores:
1. Viterbo, 32
2. Dickinson State, 55
3. Dakota State, 82
4. Bellevue, 111
5. Valley City State, 111
6. Waldorf, 141
Men's All-Conference Team:
1. Cody Farland, 26:11; 2.Cameron La Mere. 26:14; 3. Martin Bailey, 26:45; 4.Tyler Kennedy, 26:46; 5.Taylor Myers, 26:57; 6. Curtis Johnson, 27:00; 7.Cole Jensen, 27:03; 8.Colter Elkin, 27:11; 9.Dominic Santiago, 27:16; 10.Evan Slominski, 27:16.90
Women's All-Conference Team:
1. Madison Nelson, 18:27; 2. Lindsey Roth, 19:14; 3. Madelyn Adam, 19:15; 4. Brenna McDonough, 19:16; 5. Anya Hirsch, 19:18; 6. Vanessa Thomas, 19:27; 7. Grace Timm, 19:33; 8. Sarah Griffis, 19:35; 9. Hannah Perkins, 19:54; 10. Jasmine Barnes, 20:00