The Southwest Minnesota State cross country teams competed in the second meet of their inaugural Division II season on Friday, taking part at the Gale Woods Invitational hosted by Crown College in Minnetrista.
The Mustang women's team finished fifth out of six teams. AnnMarie Dykstra had the top time in the 6,000-meter race, finishing in 38th place at 28 minutes, 15.54 seconds. Next best on the team was Diana Moe, who was 53rd at 29:34.66.
"The women's side ran a much-improved race from the first meet at (South Dakota State), which was a 5K race instead of a 6K race," SMSU head coach Nate Wolf said. "Through their first 5K (on Friday), a lot of them were 30 seconds to two minutes faster than they were at SDSU. I was real pleased with that. They're starting to learn to race and push the pace."
Already racing without two of their top three runners from the SDSU Classic, the Mustang men took a blow when Jack Derham had to pull out of Friday's race at around the 5,000-meter mark with a strained muscle in his leg. The team only had four runners finish, which meant the Mustangs didn't figure into the final team standings.
Demond Carter led SMSU's four finishers, taking 80th place with a time of 31:55.15.
Carter was a member of the SMSU wrestling team from 2010-11, and Wolf said the sports of wrestling and cross country are comparable in a few ways.
"I think the thing that wrestlers and cross country runners have in common is they both have to be tough. They're both uncomfortable things to do," Wolf said. "Demond's tough, and he's learning to run 8,000 meters."
The SMSU cross country teams will race again Saturday at Caty's Run in Mankato.
Gale Woods Invite
SMSU Men's Individual Results: 80. Demond Carter 31:55.15; 92. Andrew Feucht 34.25.76; 93. Jason Bentley 34:33.24; 97. Ryan Punke 37:35.66.
SMSU Women's Individual Results: 38. AnnMarie Dykstra 28:15.54; 53. Diana Moe 29:34.66; 62. Karlie Tholen 30:40.95; 65. Amanda Estes 31:54.58; 68. Kaelyn Turner 32:39.85; 72. Lisa Schroeder 36:38.17.