Men’s Cross Country and Track News Archive 2017-2018

Cross country teams ready to compete

The 2017 Hesston College cross country teams are preparing and building off of the great momentum and excitement from last season. The women’s team competed in the NJCAA national tournament and have four of their top five runners returning. The focus has been to grow progressively and safely through the team’s summer base training, working specifically on various components of long distance running, endurance, speed, strength and flexibility.

The team has added nine new runners to the existing four returning women and six returning men. Coach Gerry Sieber is excited and says “How well we compete has to be measured with the fact that we compete against some NCAA II schools, against no JV teams and against, arguably, the strongest junior college region in the country!” He adds, “a point of emphasis is to create good, positive and supportive culture for the challenging and lengthy journey ahead for our team — the mental and psycho-socio aspects of our sport. We will be Lark strong.”

Cross country teams recognized for academic achievements

The Hesston College cross country team is once again being recognized for earning a team academic award, just like they have every year for the previous six years that Gerry Sieber has been coaching. The fall 2016 men’s cross country team is ranked first nationally in the cross country academic team standings with a 3.911 GPA, and the women’s team is ranked eighth with a 3.755 GPA.

Rankings are based upon teams that nominate at least five members for Academic All-American honors.

Since the cross country program’s start in 2010, the men have finished in the top ten every year and the women close behind, finishing in the top ten three times in all seven years. However, Sieber doesn’t feel like he can be attributed for these impressive high-academic standards.

“I don’t feel like I can take much credit for it,” Sieber said. “It’s remarkable and I’m proud of this fantastic achievement. It feels good for them to have this kind of success.”

Not only does this accomplishment mean a lot to Sieber and the team, but also to the Hesston College community.

“Our athletic department and Hesston College community are extremely proud of this accomplishment by the cross country team and Coach Sieber,” said Athletic Director, Rob Ramseyer. “They exemplify what we hope for and expect out of our athletic teams through their positive impact in their sport and in our community.”

For the Larks, being a student athlete requires a lot of balance and time management. Members of each team not only participate in their sport and attend classes, but also might have campus jobs, serve as resident assistants, ministry assistants, student ambassadors, or participate in music, theatre or clubs. Taking all these factors into consideration, makes this achievement all the more remarkable.

“I think it’s a reflection of the culture on the campus of Hesston College and on the culture that we have created in our cross country program that values academics,” said Sieber. “Everyone on Hesston’s campus has contributed to our runners’ success.”

by Jasmine Pankratz

Cross Country races at Region VI meet

The Hesston College men’s and women’s cross country teams participated in the Region VI meet this past weekend in Hutchinson, Kansas.

The men finished 13th of out 16 schools and the women finished ninth of 11. “This was an extremely talented field of runners as seven or eight of the schools at the meet are, or have been, ranked in the top 25 at some point this fall,”, Coach Gerry Sieber commented. “I was pleased with how we competed.””

Freshman Sierra Broce (Goddard, Kan.) paced the Lark women, finishing in 20:50 on the 5k course – 26th place. Freshmen Sadie Winter (Newton, Kan. – 49th/21:55), Katelyn Kilmer (Goshen, Ind. – 52nd/22:02.29) and Savannah Bontrager (Milford, Neb. – 64th/24:32) and sophomore Renee Buckwalter (Wellman, Iowa – 51st/22:02.27) also scored for the Larks with sophomore Eva Dwyer (Goshen, Ind. – 66th/25:03) rounding out the team.

Sophomore Kyle Good (Harrisonburg, Va.) led the Lark men, finishing the 8k course in 30:23, good for a 62nd place finish, followed closely by sophomore Wyatt Baer (Marshallville, Ohio – 70th/30:59) and freshman Luccas Schmucker (Hesston – 72nd/31:08). Freshmen Angus Siemens (Newton, Kan. – 82nd/31:54), Andre Eanes (Harrisonburg, Va. – 92nd/32:50), Dillon Unruh (Wilmore, Kan. – 94th/33:28) and Kyle Stucky (Moundridge, Kan. – 99th/34:55) and sophomore Jonah Short-Miller (35:30) also competed.

The Lark women will run at the NJCAA National Cross Country Championship Meet November 12 in El Dorado, Kan. The meet is hosted by Butler County Community College.

Women’s cross country wins Bethel Invitational, men finish 2nd

The Hesston College men’s and women’s cross country teams participated in their fourth meet of the season Saturday, Oct. 8, making a statement at the Bethel College Invitational.

The Lark women handily won the team competition and had the second fastest 5K average time for the top five runners in the history of Hesston women’s cross country, now in the seventh year. Sierra Broce paced the Larks, finishing first overall with a time of 20:21, her lifetime best. Sadie Winter (21:04.26) finished fourth, Rene Buckwalter (21:25, 7th) and Katelyn Kilmer (22:28, 9th) rounded out the top 10 for Hesston College. Other runners who helped lead the Larks to the title were: Eva Dwyer (22:56, 12th), Savanah Bontrager (24:09, 15th) and Becky Jensen (25:00, 16th).

Wyatt Baer led the men’s team, finishing sixth in the 8K race with a time of 29:02. Kyle Good (29:12, 7th) and Luccas Schmucker (29:18, 8th) also finished in the top 10 for the Larks. Angus Siemens (30:01, 12th), Andre Eanes (30:41, 14th), Avery Pike (30:48, 15th), Jonah Short-Miller (31:32, 17th), Dillon Unruh (31:50, 18th) and Kyle Stucky (34:03, 20th) rounded out the Larks team. All of the Hesston College runners ran personal record times at Bethel.

“It was a good day for Hesston College cross country” Head Coach Gerry Sieber commented. “In spite of the limited number of participating schools (4), our runners brought some good focus and a good effort which resulted in some really good individual and team performances.”

The cross country teams look to continue strong performances when they race again Oct. 17 in El Dorado at the Butler Community College Invitational. The women’s starts at 4 p.m., followed by the men’ race at 4:45.

Baer and Broce lead Larks at Tabor College Invitational

The Hesston College men’s and women’s cross country teams participated in their third meet of the season Friday, Sept. 23, at the Tabor College Invitational Marion Reservoir, just outside of Hillsboro, Kan., and showed quite well.

The Lark men finished fourth out of seven and only six points out of third. Wyatt Baer finished 21st with a 31:13 time on the 8K course, followed by three freshmen – Angus Siemens (31:40), Avery Pike (31:49) and Andre Eanes (32:29) who finished 26th, 27th and 31st respectively. Jonah Short-Miller (38th, 33:01) and Dillon Unruh (40th, 33:38) also competed for the Larks.

Hesston’s women also finished fourth (out of six) only one point behind McPherson College. The women had three runners who medaled, finishing in the top 15 places. Sierra Broce (Goddard, Kan.) led the team with a seventh place finish on a 21:26 time for the 5K race. Sadie Winter (21:45) and Rene Buckwalter (21:46) finished 12th and 13th, just one second apart. Eva Dwyer (29th, 24:24) and Savannah Bontrager (31st, 24:55) rounded out the Hesston team.

“Coming off of two weeks of hard training, this was a good result for our team,” said Coach Gerry Sieber. The McPherson College Bulldogs took the overall men’s title, the women’s title going to Dodge City.

Cross country will have a weekend off before running again at Bethel College Invitational Oct. 8. with races at 10 (women) and 10:45 a.m. (men).

Larks runners show well in Nebraska

The Hesston College men’s and women’s cross country teams participated in their second meet of the season Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Hastings (Neb.) College Bronco Stampede.

Hesston College was one of two juco schools at the event, the other competing schools being NCAA D3 or NAIA. The Lark men finished 5th out of 6 schools and the women placed 6th out of 7. Freshman Sierra Broce (Goodard, Kan.) ran well placing 22nd overall with a substantial time improvement over her first race. On the men’s side, sophomore Kyle Good (Harrisonburg, Va.) ran a strong race, his first of the season, finishing 23rd overall.

“This was a good meet for our team. All of the teams were new colleges we had not run against previously this year and will not likely see them again. It’s good to see and run against teams we seldom see as opposed to running against the same teams over and over.” Coach Sieber said.

Cross country will return for their third meet Friday, Sept. 23, at the Tabor College Invitational.

Winter leads Larks at Hutchinson Twilight Classic

The Hesston College men’s and women’s cross country teams opened the 2016 fall season Friday night, Sept. 2, at the Twilight Classic in Hutchinson, Kan.

Freshman Sadie Winter (Newton, Kan.) paced all Hesston runners with a three-mile (4.83km) time of 20:28.2, good for 22nd overall. Renee Buckwalter (Wellman, Iowa – 57th), Eva Dwyer (Middlebury, Ind. – 84th), Becky Jensen (Wichita, Kan. – 94th) and Savannah Bontrager (Milford, Neb. – 96th) also finished for the Larks.

On the men’s side, sophomore, Wyatt Baer (Marshallville, Ohio) led the Larks with a four-mile time of 23:30.2, 64th overall, followed closely by Luccas Schmucker (Hesston, Kan. – 65th) and Angus Siemens (Newton, Kan. – 66th). Andre Eanes (Harrisonburg, Va. – 92nd), Avery Pike (Ellinwood, Kan. – 97th), Jonah Short-Miller (Bellingham, Wash. – 101st), Dillon Unruh (Willmore, Kan. – 108th) and Keegan Cook (Whitewater, Kan. – 109th) rounded out the Larks squad. The men’s team placed 14th in a 15-team field.

The Larks next meet is Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Bronco Stampede/ Hastings (Neb.) College (Elks Country Club).

Men’s Cross Country adds more Kansas talent

Hesston College men’s cross country coach Gerry Sieber announces Kyle Stucky, a senior at Moundridge (Kan.) High School, as the newest addition to the Larks program.

Stucky, a multi-sport athlete at Moundridge High, adds another athletic body to Hesston’s growing program. He is a four-time Scholar Athlete and academic letterman and will study nursing at Hesston.

“Kyle is a three-sport athlete who has shown a good aptitude for distance running,” Sieber said. “I’m looking forward to seeing him emerge as he engages in endurance training.”

Stucky is the son of David and Penny Stucky, Moundridge. He attends New Hope Evangelical Church, McPherson, Kan.

Hesston signs Litwiller to letter-of-intent

Hesston College men’s cross country coach Gerry Sieber announces Levi Litwiller, a senior at Olympia High School, Hopedale, Ill., as the newest addition to Hesston College Athletics.

Litwiller, a 2015 state qualifier in the 300 hurdles, will continue his track career with the Larks. A High Honor Roll student and Industrial Tech department award winner, he will study engineering at Hesston.

“Levi is the first track signee at Hesston,” Sieber said. “Based on his high school accomplishments, we feel that Levi will be a good trail blazer and leader for our track program.”

Litwiller attends Hopedale Mennonite Church. He is the son of Dan and Suzette Litwiller, Hopedale.

Newton High senior signs with Hesston College Men’s Cross Country

Hesston College men’s cross country coach Gerry Sieber announces Angus Siemens, a senior at Newton (Kan.) High School, as the newest addition to the Larks program.

Siemens competes in swimming and track at Newton High in addition to cross country. He will enroll in Hesston’s Disaster Management Program.

“The work ethic and experience that Angus has received under the guidance of Newton coach Richard Mack will serve him and our team well,” Sieber said. “I’m excited that Angus has chosen to join our cross country family. I’m confident he will continue to mature and get stronger, and that his best running days are ahead of him.”

Siemens attends Bethel College Mennonite Church, North Newton, Kan. He is the son of Doug and LuAnn Zook, Newton.

Men’s Cross Country signs local talent for 2016 season

Hesston College men’s cross country coach Gerry Sieber announces Luccas Schmucker, a senior at Hesston (Kan.) High School, as the newest addition to the Larks program.

A four-year varsity runner for Hesston High, Schmucker was a key part of the Swathers’ 2013 cross country team that placed third at the state meet. Schmucker also competes in track for Hesston. He will study aviation at Hesston College.

“Luccas will bring an extensive running background to our team,” Sieber said. “I’m very excited to get this personable, down-to-earth, hometown kid into our program.”

Schmucker attends Hesston Mennonite Brethren Church and is active in the youth group there. He is the son of Matt and Susan Hastings, Hesston.

Larks sign Kansas runner to letter-of-intent

Hesston College men’s cross country coach Gerry Sieber announces Mason Kerr, a senior at Clearwater (Kan.) High School, as the newest addition to the Larks program.

Kerr runs track and cross country at Clearwater High. His signing adds to a recent flurry of roster additions for the growing Hesston program. He will study youth ministry and physical education at Hesston.

“Mason will bring a quiet resolve to our team,” Sieber said. “His extensive experience in both cross country and track will definitely impact our team, and I’m excited Mason will be with us.”

Kerr is the son of Abe and Andrea Kerr, Clearwater.

Larks sign Virginia runner to letter-of-intent

Hesston College men’s cross country coach Gerry Sieber announces Andre Eanes, a senior at Eastern Mennonite High School, Harrisonburg, Va., as the newest addition to the Larks program.

Eanes placed fourth in the state tournament his junior year as a part of the school’s 800 relay team. He was voted Most Improved Runner following his junior year and Most Inspirational Runner after his senior campaign.

“Andre is a talented, well-rounded person,” Sieber said. “He has an upbeat approach to life which will positively benefit our program, and I look forward to his contributions.”

Eanes attends Park View Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, and is active in the youth group there. He is the son of Russ and Jane Eanes, Harrisonburg.

Men’s cross country signs Ellinwood senior

Hesston College men’s cross country coach Gerry Sieber announces Avery Pike, a senior at Ellinwood (Kan.) High School, as the newest addition to the Larks program.

Pike was a member of Ellinwood’s back-to-back state championship teams in 2012-13. He participated in many extracurricular activities at Ellinwood High aside from cross country, including track, basketball, cheer and powerlifting.

“Avery will bring a strong, disciplined work ethic to our team,” Sieber said. “His extensive experience in a great cross country program under the leadership of Lyles Lashly will be a real asset to our program. I look forward to coaching Avery.”

Pike is an honor roll student and will study computer engineering at Hesston. He is the son of Stacy and Tonya Pike, Ellinwood.

Men’s cross country announces Cook signing

Hesston College men’s cross country coach Gerry Sieber announces Keegan Cook, a senior at Remington High School, Whitewater, Kan., as the newest addition to the Larks program.

A multi-sport athlete at RHS, Cook earned varsity letters in football, basketball and track in addition to a pair of cross country letters.

“I’m looking forward to Keegan’s contributions to our team,” Sieber said. “He’s a wonderful, inclusive person, and he’s excited about running at Hesston. Keegan will be a valuable asset for our team’s culture.”

An honor roll and Senior Honors student, Cook will study communications at Hesston. He is the son of Leroy and Carla Cook, Whitewater. Cook attends First Church of the Nazarene, Wichita.