FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Simpson men's cross country team competed in one of the nation's largest meets on Saturday, placing 17th of 27 teams in the college division at the 2014 Chile Pepper Festival.
A late addition to the schedule, Simpson took seven competitors to Arkansas to take part in a meet featuring collegiate teams from around the country.
"Today's meet was a huge success and a very rewarding experience," head coach Heath Moenck said. "Competing against a very talented field will prepare us for the championship phase of our season."
Simpson scored 500 points as a team, behind Trinity (458) and ahead of Pratt CC (581). Oklahoma City won the college division (61), followed by Sioux Falls (71) and Missouri Southern (87).
"Our men executed our pre-race strategy, which was fun to watch," Moenck said. "We have a lot of work to do, but we're making progress."
Sophomore Blake Willadsen led Simpson for the first time in 2014, placing 214th after completing the 8k course in 26:59.9. Junior Nick Yaeger (232nd, 27:09.2) and sophomore Ethan Pellegrino (267th, 27:31.2) made up Simpson's top three finishers in the 429-person field.
Simpson goes to the Dr. Tucker Invitational in Dubuque, Iowa on Friday, Oct. 17. The meet marks the final competition before the Iowa Conference Championships on Nov. 1 in Indianola.