Farrand leads Storm to best IIAC finish since 2008

Farrand leads Storm to best IIAC finish since 2008

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Behind a great individual performance by Joe Farrand, the Simpson men's cross country team ran to a fifth-place finish at the Iowa Conference Championships on Saturday.

The Storm posted their best finish at the conference meet in four years, snapping a streak of three straight years in sixth place. With 113 points, Simpson finished just five behind regionally-ranked Wartburg. Central won the title (33), Loras came in second (50) and Luther took third (70). Coe was sixth (172), followed by Buena Vista (202) and Dubuque (238).

Second-year head coach Heath Moenck was pleased with his team's effort in a conference that features four teams – Central, Loras, Luther, Wartburg – ranked in the USTFCCCA Central Region Top 10.

"We ran our best team race of the season today," Moenck said. "We made huge improvements from last year."

Farrand put forth an all-conference effort with a fifth-place finish, navigating the 8k course at Noelridge Park in 25:44.1. In his third year at Simpson, Farrand competed in the first conference championship of his collegiate career, missing his first two seasons due to injury.

"Joe has really come on late in the season and once again ran exceptionally well today," Moenck said.

John Warnke placed 19th (26:13.8), four spots outside of all-conference contention. He improved 14 spots from his 33rd-place finish a year ago.

Jake Sutton crossed the finish line right behind Warnke in 20th (26:17.8), a 16-place improvement from a year ago.

Mitchell Davis placed 40th, (27:06.6) and freshmen Nick Yeager (45th, 27:14.2), Miles Kirts (64th, 27:43.8) and Andrew Mayes (65th, 27:50.7) rounded out Simpson's top seven.

"Today's performance sets us up well for regionals and our ultimate goal of placing in the top 10," Moenck said.

Simpson goes to Northfield, Minn. for the Central Region Championships on Nov. 10, which are hosted by St. Olaf.