Men cross country team win 1st meet, women 3rd

Chadron State men’s cross country team opened its season with a win at the South Dakota School of Mines Invitational at Founders Park in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Chadron State’s Alejandro Garcia, graduate student of Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, was the first Eagle to cross the finish line of the 8,000-km race in 25 minutes, 34 seconds. Garcia was inched out at the end of the race and finished second out of 40 men, one second behind Festus Lagat, of Gillette College, Gillette, Wyoming.
Dylan Stansbury, senior of Crawford, was the second Chadron State runner to cross the line, and fifth overall, in 26:51. Phill Duncan, junior of Chadron; Riley Howard, freshman of Anchorage, Alaska; and Kyle Dietsch, senior of Sheridan, Wyoming, who placed seventh, 10th, and 11th, respectively, were the other men who helped pull the Eagles to the win.
The Eagles scored 35 points as a team, followed by Gillette College with 42, Montana State-Billings with 68, South Dakota Mines had 93, and Central Wyoming, Riverton, with 148 points.
“I believe the team executed what we came to do and that was win the meet,” Garcia said. “We have a lot of talented individuals that are ready to aim for that nationals bid.”
On the women’s side, Chadron State’s Margaret Vinton, senior of North Platte, was the top Eagle coming in fourth place with a time of 19:11.5 on the 5,000-km course. Kiya Passero, freshman of Chadron, was the second Eagle to cross the line, completing the course in 19:56.6. Freshmen Savannah Silbaugh, of Upton, Wyoming, and Vanessa Sawyers, of Hot Springs, South Dakota, finished 14th and 16th, respectively, and Taylor Allison, senior of Gordon, finished 17th out of the 32 competitors.
“Last meet went well for both myself and the team,” Vinton said. “Personally, I ran my best time on that course by close to a minute and the top 5 finishers on the team finished within a minute of each other. It was a great starting point and we just need to work on moving the pack forward.”
“This season I’m most looking forward to seeing how far I can push myself both physically and mentally and laying down a good foundation for future years, when the team will be more experienced and will have a good shot at making nationals.”
Gillette College’s women took home the women’s title with 31 points followed by South Dakota School of Mines with 55, Chadron State with 63, and Montana State-Billings with 75 points.
Eagle runners will compete against several of the same teams as last weekend at their annual home meet Saturday. Along with the collegiate races Saturday, there will be a high school meet where more than a dozen schools will attend.

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