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Photo by: South Dakota State University

Men 2nd, women 3rd at SDSU Classic...

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 10/01/2011 11:53:17

The South Dakota State men's and women's cross country teams finished in second- and third-place, respectively, at the SDSU Classic on Saturday morning.

The SDSU men scored 40 points to finish in second place, 17 points behind SDSU Classic champion Nebraska.

The SDSU women scored 100 points to finish in third behind Nebraska and SDSU Classic champion Minnesota.

The men's team was paced by junior Jared Ailts, who finished in sixth place with a time of 25 minutes and 53.7 seconds.

The women's team was lead by junior Erin Hargens, who finished in 14th place with a time of 18 minutes and 32.5 seconds.

The men posted a solid performance, taking five of the top 10 spots. Behind Ailts was senior Greg Vollmer in seventh place with a time of 25:54.9. Senior Kyle Schmidt finished in eighth place six seconds later. Like clockwork, junior Greg Beesley and freshman Trent Lusignan each finished in the next six second intervals for ninth- and 10th-place, respectively.

"Nebraska ran really well and surprised us a little bit," head coach Rod DeHaven said. "I do not think we fired on all cylinders, but our fifth runner Beesley was with that group in a nice, tight pack, which was great. Now we have to get some of the other runners going a little bit. I think we are going in the direction that we want to go in at this point in the season."

The women also had a good showing, taking five of the top 27 spots. After Hargens, senior Danielle Burke finished in 16th-place with a time of 18:39.3. Junior Tera Potts and freshman Courtney Neubert finished one second apart for 21st- and 22nd-place, respectively. Junior Danielle McCann closed out the scoring for the Jacks in 27th-place with a time of 19:11.6.

"We got a little bit better on [the women's] side compared to where we were last year, on a day that was difficult to run," DeHaven said. "That group got better. Burke ran better and Hargens recovered a bit, but we still need to get our confidence up. Once we do that we will have a chance to reach our goals for the season."

The SDSU Alumni men's cross country team finished in fifth-place.

Complete results can be found at the beginning of this article.

South Dakota State also took the time to honor former SDSU head coach Jay Dirksen. Dirksen began his coaching career as the head men's cross country and track and field coach at SDSU. After six years leading the men, Dirksen started the women's cross country program. He coached six NCAA Division II champions and 34 NCAA Division II All-Americans in eight years at South Dakota State. The men's cross country team won the 1973 NCAA Division II Cross Country championship.

Coach DeHaven presented Dirksen with a framed, South Dakota State cross country singlet and announced that the men's race will be renamed the 'Jay Dirsen men's 8k' in his honor.

Both the men's and women's cross country teams take the week off from competition before traveling to the Bradley Classic on Friday, Oct. 14. The classic is set to begin at 4:30 p.m. in Peoria, Ill.

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