INDIANOLA, Iowa – It has been six years, but collegiate cross country made its return to Indianola on Friday evening.
Three teams and Simpson alumni came to Pickard Park for the Bill Buxton Invitational, the first time Simpson has hosted a meet since 2006. The Storm won both the men's and the women's competitions in the first meet of the season.
"Everybody wants to run at home," second year head coach Heath Moenck said. "We train out here four days a week so the kids were really excited to get out here and race against other people. We had a lot of fans and a lot of support to make it a great first experience. I hope this something we can continue to put on in the future."
The women's team finished with 26 points, topping College of St. Mary (37) and Des Moines Area CC (76). Buena Vista also ran but only four runners competed.
Shelby King paced the Storm, navigating the 4-kilomter in 17:30 en-route to a fourth-place finish. Lauren Doocy took seventh (17:48), Lea Rae Jones came in eighth (18:08) and Lindsey Borgomainerio placed 10th (18:16). Leah Clark (18:18), Breanna Gaster (18:26) and Emily Manning (18:56) rounded out Simpson's top seven.
Buena Vista's Holly Nuetzman won the race in 17:01.
The Storm men won their dual with Buena Vista, 20-38.
John Warnke ran to medalist honors, finishing the 6-kilometer course in 20:26. Jake Sutton took third place (20:34), Miles Kirts fifth (21:13 and Andrew Mayes seventh (21:43). Nick Yeager came in eighth (21:52), Bryce Phillips placed ninth (21:53) and Kellen Kremer finished in 15th (23:31) to round out the Simpson runners.
"I thought we opened up well," Moenck said. "Winning is always fun, so that's a great way to start the season. But we know it is an early season meet. We've got a lot of time to get better and we've got a lot of things to work on.
"All in all, it was fun. The kids had a great time and were fortunate to come out with a win today."
Following the meet, the cross country team hosted a potluck at the park to connect with the program's alumni.
"It was great to meet them (alums)," Moenck said. "They have more experience at Simpson than I do, so it is great to be able to ask them questions and it's even more fun to watch them run. A lot of them ran here years ago, which brought back some good memories for them."
The Storm will have three weeks to recover before taking part in the Buena Vista Invitational on Sept. 21 in Storm Lake.