The men’s and women’s cross country teams capped off a tremendous season with 17th and 13th place finishes, respectively, at the NCAA Midwest Regional.
The 17th place finish for the men was their best since 2013. “Dirty G” (Griff Morrill) finished his resurgent 2019 campaign with a personal best time of 25:57. This placed him 46th, just 11 spots outside of All-Region honors. Next in for the men was sophomore Riley Dulin with a time of 26:53. Seniors Tanner Heiple and Mike Bersell capped off their cross country careers with solid times of 27:18 and 28:13, respectively. Underclassmen Alex Urbina, CJ Bonifer, and Gavin Conway rounded out the Scots’ top seven, all racing well in their first regional meet.
The Monmouth women also raced well last Saturday, placing 13th out of 35 full teams. Sophomore Caroline Young led the way, also with a 46th place finish. Next in were two more sophomores, Mik Moore and Arika Hofmann, placing 58th and 68th, respectively. Junior Julia Sterr also helped pace the women, finishing 4th on the team with a time of 24:43. Senior Caitlyn Allen ended her season with a time of 25:08, while Kirsten Menke and Kara Fisher rounded out the top seven with times of 25:13 and 25:29, respectively.
Overall, the season was a major success that saw the men turn heads with a second place finish at the conference meet and a top-20 finish at the regional. The women repeated as MWC runners-up while improving their regional performance from last year by 8 spots. The Scots’ distance squads will now turn their attention to the track, with the Monmouth Invite January 19.
Riley Dulin – Sports Editor