Men’s cross country squad claims district title; qualifies for nationals – Throwback

Chase Rath – Collegian Reporter

On Nov. 12, 1992,  Collegian Sports Staff Brian Gustafson wrote about the Men’s cross country team claiming their district title, and earning their rightful place in going to nationals in Kenosha, WI. Head Coach Bart Gray elaborates on the emotional and physical experience of earning their win.

Brian Gustafson – Sports Staff

On a cool day and on a very hilly course in Fremont Saturday, the Hastings College men’s cross country team claimed the District 11 team championship and earned a trip to the national meet in Kenosha, WI.

“We’re really pleased with the way the meet turned out,” said Head Coach Bart Gray. “We really felt that we could win it.”

The Broncos won the team championship with a total of 32 points, finishing ahead of Doane College, Midland Lutheran and Concordia College. Seven Hastings runners competed in the race and three finished in the top five.

Sophomores Jeff Novotny, Terry Bauer and Sage Sarchet led the way for the Hastings thinclads. Novotny finished the five-mile race in a time of 27:35 and placed second in the 25-runnerfield. Bauer finished fourth in a time of 28:16, and Sarchet turned in a fifth-place time of 28:49.

Four Bronco runners finished consecutively in places tenth through thirteenth. Sophomores Ken Clay and Don Guelde filled the tenth and eleventh spots with times of 29:11 and 29:24.

Senior Carl Peters followed Guelde at 29:28 and freshman Ken Avery rounded out the Bronco finishers in 29:40. Those seven runners, along with one alternate yet to be named, will make the trip to Wisconsin on November 21.

“Realistically, I feel that we can finish in the top 15,” Gray said. “If we run extremely well like we did at Minnesota, then I really believe that we can be a top-ten team.” 

Gray also said that he expects to see a field of runners ranging from 350 to 375 entrants. “The large amount of runners will help our guys to push themselves and run faster,” he said.

In women’s action on Saturday, six Lady Broncos competed in the five-team, 32-runner field, and as a team finished fourth. Unfortunately for the Lady Broncos, none of them were able to capture spots on the bus to Kenosha.

Leading the way for the Lady Broncos was freshman Jennifer Huwaldt. Huwaldt finished eleventh and missed a trip to nationals by just one spot with a time of 20:39.

Junior Lisa Dyck and freshman Chastity Wilson finished fifteenth and sixteenth in 21:18 and 21:19. Freshman Kris Winbinger, senior Karry Whitten and senior JoJo Dressel rounded out the Hastings team in 24th, 25th and 32nd with times of 21:59, 22:09, and 26:36 respectively.

“We really expected at least one to go to nationals,” said Gray. “But I feel that we had a successful season, and we’ll be very strong in the future.” 

Gray, who was voted district coach of the year, will pack up the men’s team and head for Wisconsin next Thursday for the NAIA National Cross Country Meet. Starting time will be 11:45 a.m.