Women’s Cross Country News Archive 2016-2017

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).

Women’s Cross Country signs Kansas senior

Hesston College women’s cross country coach Gerry Sieber announces Sierra Broce, a senior at Eisenhower High School, Goddard, Kan., as the newest addition to the Larks program.

Named MVP as a senior, Broce served as team captain in 2015. A three-time all-league runner and state cross country meet qualifier, Broce helped her team qualify for a pair of state meets.

“I’m excited Sierra has chosen to join our cross country family,” Sieber said. “She has competed very well in meets with 4A, 5A and 6A schools in both track and cross country. With that experience, coupled with her vivacious spirit, I expect Sierra will be a real asset for our team.”

Broce will study elementary education and youth ministry at Hesston. She is the daughter of Kevin and Kelli Broce, Goddard.

Women’s Cross Country opens recruiting class with three additions

Hesston College women’s cross country coach Gerry Sieber announces Savannah Bontrager, Milford, Neb., Kate Kilmer, Goshen, Ind., and Sadie Winter, Newton, Kan., as the newest additions to the Larks program. All three student athletes are Hesston College legacy students.

“Savannah, Kate and Sadie are all from excellent high school programs,” Sieber said. “They’re student athletes of high integrity with strong running backgrounds who I expect will make immediate contributions to our campus community.”

Bontrager is three-year letter-winner in both cross country and track under Milford High coach Michele Kontor. She’s a two-time Academic all-State performer and four-year Honor Roll student.

“Savannah shows strong resolve and commitment,” Sieber added. “She has improved each year and I expect her to keep getting stronger.”

Bontrager attends Bellwood Mennonite Church, Milford. She is the daughter of Craig and Karen Bontrager, Milford.

Kilmer, an all-conference runner in cross country and track, is a three-year varsity runner for Northridge High coach Ryan McClane. Northridge Cross Country has qualified for the state tournament in each of Kilmer’s seasons with the team.

A four-time Scholar Athlete and High Honor Roll student, Kilmer will study nursing at Hesston. She attends Bonneyville Mennonite Church, Bristol, Ind.

“I expect Kate to lead by example and be an empowering teammate,” Sieber said. “She has great charisma and will be a dynamic leader for us.”

Kilmer is the daughter of Kevin and Karilyn Kilmer, Goshen.

A two-time all-Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League runner, Winter adds another high-academic student athlete to coach Sieber’s roster. A 2013 state qualifier in cross country, she was a part of two (2013, 2015) Newton High track teams that captured regional championships under coach Richard Mick.

Winter is a National Honor Society member and Honors Scholar. She will study biomedical engineering at Hesston. She attends Grace Community Church, Newton.

“Sadie is an outstanding student and will add a great deal to our roster,” Sieber said. “She’ll lead by example and will undoubtedly have a tremendous Hesston Experience.”

Winter is the daughter of Juli and Perry Winter, Newton.

Women’s Cross Country wraps up 2015 season

The Hesston College women’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 seventh among 16 school. All 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.

Hesston’s seventh place finish represents the best season ever for the program.

Hannah Heidebrecht (Minneapolis, Minn.) capped off a brilliant freshman season with a 13th place finish among 96 runners, earning all-region honors. Heidebrecht was a medalist in every meet in 2015.

Freshman Rene Buckwalter (Wellman, Iowa) was a medalist in the Oct. 16 Butler CC (El Dorado, Kan.) meet.

A 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.

“Our women had an outstanding year,” said Hesston Coach Gerry Sieber. “It was a freshmen-laden roster and already excited about next year.

Larks show marked improvement in 4th place finish

The Hesston College women’s cross country team put up impressive individual and team times at the Tabor College (Hillsboro, Kan.) Invitational on Friday, Sept. 25. Competing against NCAA Div. II, NAIA and NJCAA talent, the Larks came away with a solid fourth place finish among nine schools.

Hannah Heidebrecht (Minneapolis, Minn.) placed fifth overall (73 total runners) and first among NJCAA athletes after she turned in a personal-best 20:08.32 in the women’s 5K. Rene Buckwalter (Wellman, Iowa) placed 17th with a personal-best time of 21:05.98, over 90 seconds better than she ran Sept. 12 in Hutchinson.

In fact, five Hesston runners enjoyed personal bests on the day. Madison Rickabaugh’s (Coldwater, Kan.) 21:41:12 was good for 26th overall, while Becky Jensen placed 28th with a time of 21:46.73. Eva Dwyer (Middlebury, Ind.) contributed with a 24:10.91, good for 43rd overall.

Hesston runners averaged 21:46.62. The Larks compete at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2 at Johnson County CC (Overland Park).

Heidebrecht places 3rd at Masterson Classic

The Hesston College women’s cross country team enjoyed a 4th place finish at Hutchinson (Kan.) CC’s Terry Masterson Classic on Saturday, Sept. 12.

Freshman Hannah Heidebrecht (Minneapolis, Minn.) led all Hesston runners for the second consecutive week with an outstanding 20:16.4 in the 5K race, less than 10 seconds off the pace (20:08.1) and good for 3rd place overall. Rene Buckwalter (Wellman, Iowa) finished 24th (among 43 total runners) in 22:39.2.

Becky Jensen (Rossville, Kan.) 23:04.1 finished 26th overall, while Madison Rickabaugh (Coldwater, Kan.) was the 4th Hesston freshman to place in top-30 with a time of 23:10.5.

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

Larks finish fifth at Maple Leaf Invite

The Hesston College women’s cross country team finished fifth overall at Baker University’s Maple Leaf Invitational women’s 4K, held Sept. 5 at Baldwin City (Kan.) Golf Course.

Hannah Heidebrecht (Minneapolis, Minn.) finished 14th overall after averaging a 6:47.2 mile (16:52.03 overall). Rene Buckwalter (Wellman, Iowa) came in 33rd with a 7:09.2 mile average (17:46.66 overall). Madison Rickabaugh (Coldwater, Kan.) averaged 7:23.2 (18:21.38 overall) to finish 36th. Becky Jensen (Rossville, Kan.) also finished in the top-50 (45th) with a mile average of 7:42.3 and a 19:08.92 overall.

The Larks run at 10 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.

Women’s cross country adds Colorado runner to 2015 roster

Hesston College women’s cross country coach Gerry Sieber announces Emma Schrock, a senior at Bear Creek High School, Lakewood, Colo., as the newest addition to the Larks program.

“Emma has been active in a variety of sports and activities in her life,” Sieber said. “I’m confident that as she focuses on endurance training she will adapt well to the sport.”

Schrock is the daughter of Brad and Katrina Schrock, Lakewood. She attends First Mennonite Church, Denver, and is active in the youth group there.

Women’s cross country adds Iowa runner to 2015 recruiting class

Hesston College women’s cross country coach Gerry Sieber announces Renee Buckwalter, a senior at Iowa Mennonite School, Kalona, as the newest addition to the Larks program.

A two-time all-conference runner, Buckwalter participated in the Iowa state cross country meet in 2011 and 2014. She was an academic all-state selection as a senior. An honor roll student, Buckwalter is deciding her major at Hesston.

“Rene has been on my radar ever since she burst onto the scene at IMS her freshman year,” Sieber said. “Under the excellent tutelage of IMS coach Marty Gingerich she has become a well-seasoned and savvy runner and will have an instant impact on our team.”

Buckwalter is the daughter of Tom and Paula Buckwalter, Wellman, Iowa. She attends Wellman Mennonite Church and is active in the youth group there.

Women’s cross country adds pair to 2015 recruiting class

Hesston College women’s cross country coach Gerry Sieber announces Becky Jensen, a senior at Rossville (Kan.) High School, and Kaitlyn Shaw, a senior at Newton (Kan.) High School as the newest additions to the Larks program.

A team captain and four-year letter-winner in both cross country and track at Rossville High, Jensen was state champion in both the 4×400 and 4×800 relays.

A National Honor Society member, Jensen will study nursing at Hesston.

“Becky brings to Hesston College a good resume of performances in track and cross country,” Sieber said. “A good athlete with a passion for running, she will compete well in college and will be a real asset to our team. We’re excited to get a runner of her caliber.”

Jensen is the daughter of Jon and Paula Jensen, Topeka, Kan.

Shaw, a varsity letter-winner for Newton High cross country, adds to an impressive recruiting class for the Larks. A National Honor Society member and Honor Roll student, she will study nursing at Hesston.

“Kaitlyn has a good background in cross country in a strong Newton High program,” Sieber said. “Her experience and knowledge with the sport will enable her to adapt well to college cross country. I’m looking forward to her contributions.”

Shaw is the daughter of John and Tamara Shaw, Newton. She attends Newspring Church, Wichita.

Women’s cross country signs Heidebrecht for 2015 recruiting class

Hesston College women’s cross country coach Gerry Sieber Hannah Heidebrecht, a senior at Minnetonka (Minn.) High School, as the newest addition to the Larks program.

Heidebrecht posted a personal best outdoor mile of 5:45 and a 2-mile best of 13:29.5 for Minnetonka High. An Honor Roll student, she will study nursing at Hesston.

“Hannah is a great recruit for our team,” Sieber said. “She’s an enthusiastic, disciplined and goal oriented lady with a passion for running. Hannah will bring good leadership and work ethic to our team and will compete very well at our level.”

Heidebrecht attends Ridgewood Baptist Church, Minnetonka, and is involved in a variety of church activities there. She is the daughter of John and Wanda Heidebrecht, Excelsior, Minn.