Men’s Cross Country News Archive 2015-2016

Men’s Cross Country wraps up 2015 season

The Hesston College men’s cross country team recently completed another successful season in an always-competitive NJCAA Region VI schedule.

At the October 31 region championship meet in Overland Park, Kan., Hesston placed tenth among 16 school. Six programs that placed ahead of the Larks were ranked in the top-25 national poll this season. A high level of competition is nothing new for Hesston College Cross Country, as the men and women’s program’s routinely compete with top NJCAA talent, as well as with varsity squads from four-year athletic programs.

A highlight from the season included the Larks’ sixth place finish at the Sept. 25 Tabor College Invitational in Hillsboro, Kan. Among the teams Hesston beat were varsity squads from NJCAA, NAIA and NCAA Div. II programs.

Another highlight for this year’s team was several days spent volunteering at Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp, Divide, Colo., where the men’s and women’s team partnered with Mennonite Disaster Service in contributing over 350 hours to clearing beetle-infested trees at the camp.

“The time spent at RMMC was an outstanding opportunity for our student athletes,” said Hesston Coach Gerry Sieber. “It was a good break from the semester and a nice to help out a worthy cause.”

Baer paces Hesston at Tabor Invite

Running against NCAA Div. II, NAIA and NJCAA talent, the Hesston College men’s cross country team competed well at the Tabor College (Hillsboro, Kan.) Invitational on Friday, Sept. 25. Hesston runners averaged 30:24.77 and finished 6th among nine programs.

Wyatt Baer (Marshallville, Ohio) placed 18th overall and first for the Larks with an 8K time of 29:19.07, his personal best of the season. All seven HC runners placed in the top-50 (87 total runners), with each athlete posting his personal best time.

Bryce Nitzsche (Lincoln, Neb.) placed 25th with a time of 29:50.88. Weston Warner (Wichita, Kan.) and Weston Schroeder (Harper, Kan.) finished back-to-back (33rd-30:36.62 and 34th-30:37.23), as did Collin Leonard (Burrton, Kan.) and Kyle Good (Harrisonburg, Va.) with times of (42nd-31:40.05 and 43rd-31:47.03).

Jared Hague (Marion, Kan.) finished in 31:51.34, good for 45th overall and an impressive 75 seconds better than his Sept. 12 race in Hutchinson. Leonard’s time represented an improvement of nearly two minutes and 45 seconds from his race in Hutchinson.

The Larks compete at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2 at Johnson County CC (Overland Park).

Larks show improvement in second race

The Hesston College men’s cross country team placed 7th among eight two-year colleges at the Terry Masterson Classic 8K race hosted by Hutchinson (Kan.) CC on Saturday, Sept. 12.

Freshman Wyatt Baer (Marshallville, Ohio) finished 19th (among 65 total runners) with a time of 29:56.0 to lead Hesston. Bryce Nitzsche (Milford, Neb.) finished just behind Baer with a 30:03.8 8K, good for 22nd overall.

Weston Warner (Wichita, Kan.) finished 29th overall (30:40.4) while Weston Schroeder (Harper, Kan.) came in 41st overall with a time of 32:02.2.

Hesston runs at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 25 at Emporia (Kan.) State University.

Four runners crack top-50 in Maple Leaf Invitational

The Hesston College men’s cross country team placed four runners in the top-50 of the Maple Leaf Invitational, held Saturday, Sept. 5 at Baldwin City (Kan.) Golf Course.

Freshman Wyatt Baer (Marshallville, Ohio) paced all Hesston runners with a 5K time of 18:26.84 (5:56.3 average mile.), good for 32nd overall. Weston Warner (Wichita, Kan.) finished 45th after averaging a 6:12.2 mile (19:16.36 overall time). Kyle Good (Harrisonburg, Va.) (6:20.10 – 19:40.71) and Bryce Nitzsche (Milford, Neb.) (6:26.0 – 19:59:26) snuck into the top-50 at 48th and 50th overall, respectively.

The Larks placed sixth overall the Maple Leaf Invite and will run again at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12 at Hutchinson (Kan.) CC.

Cross County ready to run

Hesston College Cross Country Coach Gerry Sieber has his teams ready for a new year, as the Larks are poised to build on previous successes. The 2015 women’s and men’s rosters will have a combined 22 runners, the most ever for Hesston College Cross Country.

“I’m excited about the men and women on our cross country teams,” Sieber said. “It should be a good journey together. We’re off to a good start, and I’m thrilled at our increased numbers.”

Four returning sophomores anchor the men’s side: Austin Braddock, Baldwin City, Kan.; Jared Hague, Marion, Kan.; Bryce Nitzsche, Lincoln, Neb.; and Weston Warner, Wichita, Kan.

The women’s team returns three sophomores: Kenzie Johnson, Olathe, Kan.; Anna Penner, Macksville, Kan.; and Mary Peters, Ashkum, Ill.

“Our men’s team will compete at a similar level of previous teams,” Sieber said. “Our women’s side is much improved and should be much more competitive.”

Sieber highlights the Larks Sept. 12 meet at Hutchinson (Kan.) CC and the Sept. 25 meet at NCAA, Div. II Emporia (Kan.) State University as exciting challenges for his squads.

Men’s cross country signs Bellingham (Wash.) senior for 2015 season

Hesston College men’s cross country coach Gerry Sieber announces Jonah Short-Miller, a senior runner at Bellingham (Wash.) High School, as the newest addition to the Larks program.

A captain his senior year, Short-Miller was named team MVP and given the school’s Senior Leadership Award following Bellingham’s fifth-place district finish in cross country.

“Jonah is a seasoned cross country runner and will adapt well to the next level of training and competition,” Sieber said.

An honor roll student and student body president, Short-Miller will study health sciences at Hesston. He attends Cornwall Church, Bellingham.

Short-Miller is the son of Eric and Melody Short-Miller, Bellingham.

Men’s Cross Country adds Nebraska runner for 2015 season

Hesston College men’s cross country coach Gerry Sieber announces Christian Martin, a senior at Milford (Neb.) High School, as the newest addition to the Larks program.

Martin, a part of Milford High’s back-to-back cross country state championship teams, also played football, basketball and golf for the school. He will study sociology at Hesston.

“We’re thrilled that Christian has chosen to come to Hesston and compete in our program,” Sieber said. “His spirit will be invaluable to our team.”

Martin is the son of Troy and Paula Martin, Milford. He attends Bellwood Mennonite Church, Milford.

Men’s Cross Country adds another recruit for 2015 season

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

A three-year state qualifier in cross country, Leonard also played basketball and golf and ran track at Burrton High. He will study computer science at Hesston.

“Collin will be a good addition to our team,” Sieber said. “A good multi-sport athlete, I’m excited to see what he can do for us when he focuses on one sport. Collin is a hard worker and has a wonderful spirit.”

Leonard is the son of Terry and Monica Leonard, Burrton. He attends first Christian Church, Burrton.

Men’s cross country signs Arizona runner for 2015 recruiting class

Hesston College men’s cross country coach Gerry Sieber announces Clay Axness, a senior at Deer Valley High School, Glendale, Ariz., as the newest addition to the Larks program.

A four-sport athlete at Deer Valley High, Axness participated in track, soccer and volleyball in addition to cross country.

“A multi-sport athlete and an effervescent spirit, Clay will be a welcomed addition to our men’s cross country team,” Sieber said. “I’m looking forward to his contribution.”

Axness is the son of Cory and Andrea Axness, Glendale. At Hesston, he will pursue studies towards a degree in forestry.

Men’s cross country adds local runner

Hesston College men’s cross country coach Gerry Sieber announces Weston Schroeder, a senior at Chaparral High School, Harper, Kan., as the newest addition to the Larks program.

A key part of the cross country team that placed third in the 3A state meet in 2014, Schroeder participated in five sports at Chaparral High. A second-team all-league basketball player and honorable mention all-league performer in football, Schroeder also wrestled and ran track for the school.

Schroeder attends Pleasant Valley Mennonite Church, Harper. He is deciding his major at Hesston.

“Weston is an athletic kid who has competed well in numerous sports throughout his high school career,” Sieber said. “I’m looking forward to watching him compete with cross country as his only sport.”

Schroeder is the son of Kerry and Donica Schroeder, Harper.

Men’s cross country to add Ohio talent for 2015

Hesston College men’s cross country coach Gerry Sieber announces Wyatt Baer, a senior at Smithville (OH) High School is the newest addition to the Larks program.

Baer has a personal best of 17:03 in the 5K for Smithville High. He was a three-year varsity letter recipient in both cross country and track. In 2013, Baer received the Coach Award for track. Baer was part of excellent programs while at Smithville High, the team qualifying for districts, regionals, and being named country champions all four-years of his high school career.

A three-year honor roll student at Smithville High, Baer will study business at Hesston.

“We’re excited to have Wyatt join our cross country family,” Sieber said. “Wyatt is a disciplined, goal oriented leader who will compete well at our level. He will make a good contribution to our team and I’m excited Wyatt has chosen to start here.”

Baer is the son of Lynae and Heath Baer, Marshallville, Ohio. He attends Oak Grove Mennonite Church, Smithville, Ohio, and is active in the youth group there.

In cross country, Hesston College competes in Division I of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). Located 30 miles north of Wichita, Hesston College is the two-year liberal arts college of Mennonite Church USA.

Men’s cross country adds Virginia runner to 2015 recruiting class

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

“Kyle ran very well his senior year after making a switch to cross country from soccer,” Sieber said. “He should adapt well to running at the next level and I anticipate his substantial contribution to our team.”

Good is deciding his college major. He is the son of Lee and Rosemary Good, Harrisonburg.

In cross country, Hesston College competes in Division I of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). Located 30 miles north of Wichita, Hesston College is the two-year liberal arts college of Mennonite Church USA.

Pair of former Larks compete at NCAA national race

Two former Hesston College graduates and men’s cross country runners, Jacob Landis (Sterling, Ill.) and Ryan Gehman (Millersville, Pa.), finished their seasons by competing in the NCAA Div. III cross country championships held Nov. 22 at Kings Island Golf Center, Mason, Ohio. Landis and Gehman both represented Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Va., in the men’s 8K race.

Landis, Hesston’s Student Athlete of the Year in 2013, finished 216th overall with a time of 26:03.6 (5:14.6 mile average) while Gehman finished in 26:15.8 (5:17.01 average), good for 237th overall.

Keak, Dungan represent Hesston at cross country national meet

Hesston College men’s cross country runners Muoch Keak (Lincoln, Neb.) and Ryan Dungan (Wichita, Kan.) competed well in the NJCAA Div. I men’s cross country national championships Saturday, Nov. 8 at Shadow Hills Golf Course, Lubbock, Texas.

Keak, a freshman, finished 113th among 256 runners with a time of 27.59 in the 8K race. Sophomore Dungan closed a solid Hesston career with a time of 28.22 – good for 134th. Iowa Central CC captured the national championship.

“Muoch and Ryan had good seasons,” said head coach Gerry Sieber. “Ryan improved significantly from last year and provided excellent leadership for his team. Muoch ran well for a freshman and will undoubtedly improve next year. They represented our team and school very well.”



Keak, Dungan lead Larks to 2nd-place finish

The Hesston College men’s cross country competed well in the Bethel College (North Newton, Kan.) Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 18.

The Larks, led by a pair of top-five runners, enjoyed a second place finish. Freshman Muoch Keak (Lincoln, Neb.) placed fourth overall in the men’s 8K with a 27:18.32. Right behind was sophomore teammate Ryan Dungan (Kechi, Kan.) with a 27:38.9.

Freshman Bryce Nitzsche (Lincoln, Neb.) placed tenth overall with a 28:32.09. 42 runners competed in the Invitational, won by Ottawa (Kan.) University.

Hesston now looks to the Oct. 25 Region VI meet hosted by Colby (Kan.) CC.