The UMD cross country season got off on the right foot Saturday with the Bulldog women finishing first and the men second at the St. John’s Invitational in Collegeville, Minn. Led by individual champion Breanna Colbenson, the women’s squad managed to outlast competing programs St. Cloud State, Gustavus Adolphus, St. Benedict, Northwestern and North Central for the meet championship in 90-plus-degree heat.
In her first collegiate race, Colbenson clocked in 32 seconds ahead of the next-closest runner with a time of 23:03. The second Bulldog to reach the finish was Alexandra Rudin, who placed ninth overall at 24:35 and was immediately followed by teammate Samantha Rivard, who was 10th with a 24:38 clip.
The Bulldog men also produced the individual champion for their meet—junior Dan Nielsen (26:44), who bested all challengers from Gustavus Adolphus, St. John’s, St. Cloud State and Northwestern by at least 38 seconds. Junior Mitch Zuidema was the second Bulldog to cross at 28:31, good for eighth place. UMD sophomores Drew Johnson (12th) and Ted Heikkila (13th) were separated by only a second at 28:49 and 28:50, respectively.
While the UMD women are off from competitive action this week, the men will be in Ashland, Wis., for the Lumberjack Classic at Northland College Sept. 14. Both Bulldog squads will participate in the St. Olaf Invitational Sept. 21 in Northfield, Minn.
BY KYLE FARRIS email@example.com
PHOTO BY DANIEL BADHWA firstname.lastname@example.org