BOZEMAN, Mont. – University of North Dakota cross country coach Dick Clay indicated earlier this week that he was looking forward to the high level of competition at today’s 40th annual Montana State Bozeman Running Company Invitational, a meet not normally on his program’s schedule.
A high level of competition was exactly what the Fighting Hawks faced, and Clay was pleased with how his runners responded.
North Dakota, which typically does not face Big Sky foes until the conference meet, lined up against five conference schools, plus competition from the Mountain West.
“We went back and looked at our times the last time we ran here (2013 Big Sky Championship),” said Clay. “We had a very good meet for this early in the season, if you look at comparative times.”
UND’s men’s team placed seventh and the women finished ninth, but it was the individual showings that pleased Clay.
On the women’s side, sophomore Alyssa Anderson and freshman Hannah Oscarson led a UND pack that also included freshmen Erica Eades and Madison Overby, as well as senior Larissa Juelich. Anderson and Oscarson each clocked a team-leading time of 18 minutes, 37 seconds on the three-mile course. Eades also cracked the 19-minute barrier at 18:54.
“With all the freshmen that we have, those are good times,” said Clay. “It was a good race. It helps them understand where the competition is.”
The men were paced by junior Scott Kvidera, who ran the five-mile men’s course in 26:27.
“The guys ran a good, quality, steady race,” said Clay. “Scott looked really good throughout the whole race.”
Clay also liked what he saw from freshman Kyle Sweeney, who was UND’s fourth runner with a time of 26:53.
“Kyle Sweeney had a really good race, running right up behind our returners. Overally, it was a good day and I’m happy with it.”
After a week off, the Fighting Hawks will be back in action on Oct. 1 at the South Dakota State Classic.