Story by Austin Cannon
The Drake men’s and women’s cross country teams hosted the Missouri Valley Conference Championship on Saturday at a crisp, sunny Blank Park Golf Course.
The Drake men finished eighth out of nine teams, and the women finished sixth out of 10.
Senior Doug Brady, who finished in 17th place with a time of 25 minutes, 8.8 seconds, led the men, who registered 174 points.
“I feel great. I think it’s the first race of the season where I was just feeling the best,” Brady said in a Drake athletics press release.
Brady was followed closely on the eight-kilometer course by sophomore Rob McCann, who finished 24th in 25:25.
Freshman Reed Fischer rounded out Drake’s Top-3, also breaking the 26-minute mark. He finished 41st in 25:58.1
Sophomore Taylor Scholl was the top finisher for the Bulldog women. She finished the five-kilometer course in 18:34.9, good for 28th place.
“It felt pretty good,” Scholl said in a Drake athletics press release. “I wanted to go out kind of nice and easy and find my pace, but during that second half the race caught up to me, so I was just trying to maintain the best that I could.”
Redshirt sophomore Krista Maguire finished right behind Scholl in 30th place with a time of 18:38. Emma Huston completed the tightly-grouped Top-3 with a time of 18:41.9 for 32nd.
Drake head coach Dan Hostager was pleased with his team’s effort but thought the results could have been better.
“Not everybody got the results they wanted,” Hostager said in a press release. “So, team-wise we wanted to place a little higher, but that should be motivation heading into the track season.”
John Mascari of Indiana State was the men’s individual champion. He ran a blistering 23:56.3, beating second place Ryan Rutherford of Illinois State by over eight seconds.
Southern Illinois won the men’s team championship, placing five runners in the Top-15.
Illinois State‘s Rachael Brewer won the women’s race in a time of 17:26. She beat Bradley’s Sarah McMahon by only half a second.
SIU also won the women’s team title. The Salukis completed the sweep when they claimed the third, fourth and fifth spots.
Next up for Drake is the NCAA Regionals just up the road in Ames on Nov. 15.