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Spartans improve, look for strong showing at Chile Pepper Festival

Published: Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 2:47 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 2:54 a.m. CDT
Ben Friederichs, right, rolls through the first mile on the packed cross country course at the Brissman-Lundeen Invitation in Rock Island, Ill., Sept. 27.

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — The Southwestern Community College cross country teams ventured just past the Mississippi River Sept. 27 for the Brissman-Lundeen Invitational.

The men’s squad placed 26th overall and second in the junior college division, trailing No. 16 Muskegon Community College.

“We saw the benefit of pack running with a couple of new runners getting into the top seven,” head coach Bill Huntington said. “I thought the guys ran well, it is hard to come out and run personal bests each week.”

Aaron Ward once again paced the Spartan runners, placing 133rd in a field of more than 450 runners. Ward was the seventh junior college finisher.

Gage Beers and Ben Friederich went 145th and 147th respectively. They finished 10th and 11th for junior college.

Chasen Selsor and Cassidy Warson rounded out the team scoring.

“Everything we have done this season is to run our best races at the regional and national championship,” Huntington said. “The guys took another step toward that goal tonight.”

For the women, Hannah Murphy led the Spartans in the 6K, placing 168th in the large field of about 220 participants.

Sarah McKeon, Kristin Klocksiem and Libby Hurley-Boyd followed. Teammate Aspen Riley set a new personal best and rounded out the team scoring for 987 points.

“This was the first time a lot of the girls have ever been on the line with that many other runners,” Huntington said. “It was a great learning experience for them.”

The Spartans travel to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Chile Pepper Festival hosted by the University of Arkansas on Saturday.

“The team is really looking forward to this meet and the chance to compete with some of the best talent around the country,” Huntington said.

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