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).
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.
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).
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hesston College men’s cross country coach Gerry Sieber announces Dillon Unruh, a senior at South Central High School, Coldwater, Kan., as the newest addition to the Larks program.
Unruh competes in basketball and track in addition to cross country at South Central High. He took home the school’s Cross Country Team Choice Award in 2014.
An honor roll student, Unruh will study computer science at Hesston.
“A well-rounded, tall, lanky farm boy from western Kansas, Dillon will be a good addition to our team,” Sieber said. “Now that he’s stopped growing, I anticipate Dillon will show marked improvement in his running development.”
Unruh attends Wilmore (Kan.) Federated Church where he serves as a Sunday school teacher. He is the son of Wendell and Saundra Unruh, Wilmore, Kan.
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.”
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).
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.