This past Saturday, 171 runners poured onto Northern Illinois’ campus for the 10,000-meter NCAA Midwest Regional.
The Drake Bulldog runners were one of 33 teams that made the trip to DeKalb, Ill., and the Bulldogs faced tough competition from schools in the Big East, Big 12 and the Missouri Valley Conference.
Sophomore Brogan Austin, State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Cross Country Champion, finished in 32 minutes, 13.69 seconds to earn 36th place as he led his team to a 12th-place overall finish.
“Brogan put himself in position early against the very best in the nation,” said head coach Dan Hostager in a Drake athletics press release. “It caught up with him later on in the race, but I’m really proud of his effort.”
Senior Colin Hagan finished out his collegiate cross-country career with a respectable 63rd-place finish against the nation’s best with a time of 32:58.23. One place and three seconds behind Hagan was sophomore Omet Kak, who finished 64th with a time of 33:01.87.
Sophomore Doug Brady was 72nd finishing in 33:18.20, and freshman Conor Wells was 93rd, finishing the course in 33:49.86.
“Our men’s team capped off a very successful fall season,” Hostager said. “We’ve got a very young team, and it was great to see our top senior finish off his collegiate cross-country career with another outstanding performance.”
As the leaves change colors and fall to the ground, the cross-country season has come to an end, but the promise of an indoor and outdoor track season wait in the horizon.
The new kids on the block Mariel Fulton, Melissa Parks and Krista Maguire, all freshmen, competed strongly in the NCAA Midwest Regional last Saturday in Dekalb, Ill.
Fulton led the team with a time of 23:16.90 and a 117th-place finish against the nation’s best on the 6,000-meter course.
Parks finished 13 seconds after Fulton with a time of 23:29.87, earning 128th place. Maguire finished third among the Bulldogs and 144th out of 189 total runners with a time of 23:29.87.
“Our squad went up against a few nationally ranked teams and competed well,” said head coach Dan Hostager in a Drake athletics press release.“It was a great experience for our freshmen.”
Iowa State took home the NCAA Midwest Regional crown, beating out 32 other teams. Oklahoma State, which also brought home the men’s title, finished in second. Both teams will advance to the NCAA Cross Country Championship in Terre Haute, Ind., next Monday.
Competing against schools from the nation’s major conferences, such as the Big 12, the three freshmen showed promise for next season.
“Looking back at this year, we have shown great improvement from the start of the season,” Hostager said.
This marks the end of the course for the women’s cross-country team, but it turns its attention to the indoor track season, which will kick off on Dec. 9 with the Iowa State Holiday Preview in Ames, Iowa. Holiday Preview in Ames, Iowa.