FORT DODGE — The stiff wind matched the stiff competition here Saturday as the Southwestern Community College Spartan men finished fourth at the Region XI meet.
The squad was led by freshman Ben Friederichs. He covered the 8K cross country course in 28:15, finishing 25th overall, earning a spot on the all-region honorable mention team.
“Ben really put together a complete race and earned an all-region spot,” head coach Bill Huntington said. “It was a great opportunity for the guys to preview the national championship course and race against some of the best junior college teams in the nation.”
Teammate Gage Beers finished in 28:20 and 29th place.
Ovan Garcia, Joe Bierl and Rayvonne Brown rounded out the scoring for the Spartan men, finishing with 121 points.
Iowa Central Community College won the meet with 16 points and is currently ranked fifth in the latest national poll. No. 19 North Iowa Area Community College upset No. 15 Iowa Western Community College for second and third in the team standings.
“I was proud of how our guys competed, but we are going to do everything we can over the next two weeks to prove we deserve a spot in the polls with teams like Iowa Central, NIACC and Iowa Western,” Huntington said.
For the Spartan women, all six runners set personal best times for the 5K distance. Freshman Sarah McKeon led the women, running 22:26 and placing 31st overall.
“Any time all of your athletes can come together and compete to the best of their ability, it is a special day,” Huntington said. “The ladies have a lot to be proud of this season, but they are excited for another chance to improve their personal bests.”
Hannah Murphy was the next Spartan across the line, placing 33rd.
Kristin Klocksiem, Elizabeth Hurley-Boyd and Aspen Riley also scored for Southwestern.
The Spartans travel back to Fort Dodge Nov. 9 for the National Junior College Athletic Association National Championships hosted by Iowa Central.