Youth movement paces women's cross country in opener

Youth movement paces women's cross country in opener

INDIANOLA, Iowa – The Simpson wen's cross country team opened the season with a second-place finish at its own Bill Buxton Invitational, held at Pickard Park on Friday night.

Led by freshmen Sadie Timms and Courtney Neuendorf, the Storm finished with 64 points, trailing only Loras. The Duhawks scored 34 points, ahead of Simpson, Grand View (69), Des Moines Area CC (108), Coe (121), William Penn (164) and Buena Vista (195).

The threat of severe weather moved the start time up 30 minutes and rain throughout the week leading up to the meet made for a sloppy course, but fourth-year head coach Heath Moenck was happy with the team's effort.

"It was fantastic to open up our season on our home course with great competition," Moenck said. "Both groups handled the adverse conditions admirably."

The Storm featured a youthful group of runners, as four of the team's top five were freshmen or sophomores.

"It was a terrific start to our season," Moenck said. "Our women are greatly improved from last year and it will be exciting to watch them progress this season."

Timms led the way for Simpson and finished second overall. A freshman from Ames, Iowa, Timms finished the 4km course in 16:45.3. She was followed by Neuendorf, who placed seventh in 17:32.2.

"For Sadie to finish second in a deep field was a lot of fun to watch," Moenck said. "And Courtney had an outstanding race to begin her career."

Sophomore Briana McCloskey (15th, 17:52.5), junior Breanna Gaster (19th, 18:20.0) and sophomore Erin Boggess (21st, 18:52.1) rounded out the Storm's top five finishers.

The Storm return to action next Friday, Sept. 5 when they travel to Sioux Falls, S.D. for the Augustana Twilight. The women's three-mile race begins at 8:30 p.m. followed by the men's four-mile at 9 p.m.