SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – Midland University battled wintry conditions during the Dordt Cross Country Invitational recently.

“It began to snow halfway through the men’s race,” Midland coach Daniel Gerber said. “It was cold and windy all morning with a ‘feels-like’ temperature of 17 degrees when we arrived.”

Two Fremont High School graduates led the way for the MU men in the race that included 95 runners.

Sophomore CJ Martinez finished 13th in 25:55.66 while Jose Gonzalez, a freshman, was 14th in in 25:59. Alex France of the Warriors was 55th in 28:00.67 while Christian McCafferty placed 59th in 28:08.08. Fremont freshman Ross McMahon was 66th in 28:22.87.

Doane won the men’s team title with 43 points while the host school was second with 50. Dakota State was third with 83 while the Warriors were sixth at 142.

There were 102 runners in the women’s division. Junior Vivian Sanchez of Fremont led MU by finishing the 5K in 20:58.11 to place 54th. Senior Paige Thelen was 63rd in 21:15.53. Ally Muessel finished 79th in 21:55.09 while Victoria Blitz placed 85th in 22:41.25.

Dordt won the women’s championship with 17 points. Northwestern was second with 52 while Morningside with third with 99. MU was eighth with 225.

The MU squads will return to Dordt on Nov. 9 for the Great Plains Athletic Conference Championships.

“It was a really big confidence boost for the team (members) to run all season bests on our conference course,” Gerber said. “We handled the conditions extremely well and were able to put together some good times. We couldn’t have asked for a better trial run of the conference course.”

Before returning to Dordt, however, the MU squads will compete in the Mount Marty Invitational on Oct. 26 in Yankton, South Dakota.

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