Cross country teams ready for IIAC Championship

Cross country teams ready for IIAC Championship

INDIANOLA, Iowa — The Simpson country teams will travel to Storm Lake, Iowa on Saturday for the 2016 Iowa conference Championships at Sunrise Golf Course. The women's 6k race is set to begin at 11 a.m. with the men's 8k to follow at Noon. 

Both teams are looking to improve upon identical fifth-place finishes a year ago in Dubuque. Both teams also have the luxury of returning their top finishers from a year ago, as junior Sadie Timms looks to pace the women's squad and senior Blake Willadsen plans to figure into the men's top finishers.

The Storm's top finisher at last year's championship, Timms has run in just two races this season due to injury, but will be in full form Saturday. Senior Briana McCloskey has been in the team's top three all season and will look to regain the form of her sophomore season, when she placed 20th at the IIAC Championship. Courtney Neuendorf has been the top runner for the Storm this season, lead the team in 3 of 4 meets and turning in three, top-five finishes.

"We're coming off our best performance of the season two weeks ago at the Loras Invite," head coach Heath Moenck said. "If our women can duplicate that effort, we'll be pleased with the results."

The Storm have been led by a pair of runners in Willadsen and sophomore Trey Thompson in 2016. The pair led Simpson in two meets apiece with each turning in top-10 finishes. In the Storm's last meet, Willadsen placed fifth at the Loras Invitational on Oct. 14 while Thompson came in seventh.

Senior Ethan Pellegrino has been solid as the Storm's No. 3 runner in the last three meets while freshmen Levi Lefebure and Luke Evans have traded spots at No. 4 and No. 5 in the latter stages of the season.

"Our men our healthy and ready to run their best races of the year this Saturday," Moenck said. "Our conference is loaded and as deep as it's been in a long time. I'm looking forward to seeing how we stack up against some of the top teams in the region."