Bison Menís Cross Country Primed for Summit League Championships
Release: October 24, 2012
The North Dakota State men's cross country team will head to Rochester, Mich., this weekend in search of a high finish at the 2012 Summit League Cross Country Championships. The 8k race will start at 10 a.m. (CT) at Katke-Cousins Golf Course.
"Conference cross country is always an epic battle," said North Dakota State head coach Don Larson. "Everyone goes through the season, and it comes down to having people on the right page at the right time. Kids have worked hard all summer and all fall, and this should prove to be another extremely competitive Summit League Cross Country Championships."
The Bison earned their highest-ever finish at the Summit League Championships last season, taking second place with 95 points. NDSU's top two finishers from 2011, however, will not be competing on Saturday. Senior Travis Fitzke has exhausted his cross country eligibility, and junior Marty Joyce is redshirting this season.
North Dakota State has been led by a pack of underclassmen this year, including sophomores Brett Kelly, Grady Anderson and Lucas DeGree, redshirt freshman Brendan Skime, and true freshman Bryon Schuldt. Junior Moses Heppner has also been a top-five finisher at every meet.
There are no seniors on the Bison roster, but that's not something terribly concerning to Larson.
"The guys have blended together quite well," noted Larson. "We're not the first and we're not the last program to have a bunch of underclassmen. We'll let the chips fall where they may."
NDSU was picked second in the preseason Summit League poll in August, finishing just behind South Dakota State. Southern Utah - last year's team champion - has left The Summit League to join the Big Sky Conference.
"The guys have definitely progressed as a whole, but you have to be able to make that next step," Larson said. "We've made solid progress, but we need to continue that line."
"Like everybody else in the league, they are excited to get to this particular point in the season and have a championship-level meet. That's why you're involved in sports - to compete at the championship level."
2011 Summit League Championships Individual Results
Place Name Time
4. Travis Fitzke 25:13.90
14. Marty Joyce 25:52.70
23. Grady Anderson 26:16.50
24. Moses Heppner 26:17.20
30. Brett Kelly 26:29.90
31. Alec Espeland 26:34.60
41. Jake Henderson 26:58.10
50. Andrew Fillmore 27:28.40
2011 Summit League Championships Team Results
Place Team Score
1. Southern Utah 48
2. North Dakota State 95
3. South Dakota State 100
4. Kansas City 110
5. South Dakota 116
6. Oakland 129
7. IUPUI 137
8. Western Illinois 221
9. Oral Roberts 244
10. Fort Wayne 294
NDSU Past Summit League Team Finishes