Women’s Cross Country Finishes 6th At MVC Championship, Men 8th
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Drake University men’s and women’s cross country teams finished eighth and sixth, respectively, at the Missouri Valley Conference Championship on Saturday, Nov. 2. The race, hosted by Drake, was held at Blank Park Golf Course, with a sunny, breezy day and perfect autumn weather conditions.
“I’m very pleased with efforts today,” head coach Dan Hostager said. “They gave great efforts and that’s what’s going to keep their improvement moving forward.”
The men came away with an eighth place finish overall with 174 points largely due to senior Doug Brady’s (Englewood, Colo.) 17th place finish. Brady finished the 8-kilometer course with a time of 25:08.8.
“I feel great. I think it’s the first race of the season where I was just feeling the best,” Brady said. “I’m a senior this year, so just the fact of this being possibly the last race of the season in cross country makes it kind of bittersweet, but I enjoyed it.”
Drake’s women came away with a sixth-place finish overall with 171 points. Sophomore Taylor Scholl (Prior Lake, Minn.) was Drake’s top finisher on the 5-kilometer course, coming it at 28th place with a time of 18:34.9.
“It felt pretty good,” Scholl said. “I wanted to go out kind of nice and easy and find my pace, but during that second half the race caught up to me so I was just trying to maintain the best that I could.”
While pleased with the team’s efforts, Coach Hostager is still looking for improvement in the final weeks of the season and looking forward to track season.
“Not everybody got the results they wanted,” he said. “So team-wise we wanted to place a little higher, but that should be motivation heading into the track season.”
Sophomore Rob McCann (Mississauga, Ontario) came in a few seconds behind Brady with a 24th-place finish and a time of 25:25.0. Reed Fischer (Minnetonka, Minn.), Ian Harkreader (Arvada, Colo.) and Ryan Flynn (Bettendorf, Iowa) followed in 41st, 44th and 48thplaces respectively.
Drake’s women all placed relatively close to each other, with Krista Maguire (Wausau, Wis.) finishing 30th, Emma Huston (Des Moines, Iowa) in 32nd, Erin Poss (Antioch, Ill.) in 39th and Cassie Aerts (David City, Neb.) in 42nd.
Sophomore John Mascari of Indiana State came away with his second straight individual title with a time of 23:56.4. Illinois State senior Rachael Brewer won the women’s individual title with a final time of 17:26.0. Both the men’s and women’s team titles went to Southern Illinois University.
The Bulldogs will compete again at the NCAA Regionals in Ames, Iowa, on Nov. 15. More complete results from the MVC Championships can be found at the MVC Championship Central here.
1. Southern Illinois, 38
2013 Men's Coach of the Year: Matt Sparks, Southern Illinois
Drake Men’s Individual Results
Men's All-Conference Honorable Mention
1. Southern Illinois, 43
2013 Women's Coach of the Year: Matt Sparks, Southern Illinois
Drake Women’s Individual Results
Women's All-Conference First Team
Women's All-Conference Honorable Mention
MVC Championship Quotes
Men’s Champion – John Mascari, Indiana State
“It feels really good. This year was definitely more competitive than it was last year. I kind of went in a little nervous about a few individuals, but thankfully I was able to get the title again. It was just a fun race, a fun atmosphere and it was really cool.”
Women’s Champion – Rachael Brewer, Illinois State
“The first 3k I was like ‘Oh, this is feeling great’ and then I went and that last ‘K’ it’s like you’re feeling the burn but you’re like, ‘I only have 1000 meters left, I just have to finish!’ I knew at the 2K sign that there was two minutes left and I was like ‘Rachael, you only have two minutes, just go.’ I knew Sarah [McMahon of Bradley] was right on my shoulder and so I was just like ‘You have to finish this out, this is your last time, you don’t do this anymore, this is your senior year, you have to go now, you don’t have another opportunity.’ It was tough. She definitely gave me a great run for my money. I am just so thrilled that I even had the opportunity to be on the team, so to win the conference championship individually, there’s no words. I’m just very grateful.”
Top Drake Men’s Finisher – Doug Brady
“I feel great. I think it’s the first race of the season where I was just feeling the best. Our top guy Rob [McCann] has been racing well all season and my goal was just to stay with him and stay comfortable. We have a very talented group out here. I ran this race my sophomore year and the field is so different. It was great to have everybody at a home course meet, just being at home. I’m a senior this year, so just the fact of this being possibly the last race of the season in cross country makes it kind of bittersweet, but I enjoyed it.”
Top Drake Women’s Finisher – Taylor Scholl
“It felt pretty good. I wanted to go out kind of nice and easy and kind of find my pace, but during that second half the race it caught up to me so I was just trying to maintain the best that I could. Well usually I go out pretty fast, so I didn’t want to do that here and so I think I did a good job of that but it kind of also didn’t help me because I got in a bad position later on in the race. Overall I think it was a good idea for me to do, not go out so fast.”
Winning Coach and MVC Coach of the Year – Matt Sparks, SIU
“The men we returned out entire top five from a year ago when we won, so the expectation was to just do what we did a year ago and luckily we came through and did that. A little bit of surprise on the women’s side. We knew we had all of the components there, but we knew Bradley and Illinois State had similar pieces of the puzzle and for us it was, for myself and our entire staff, we’ve been there 12 years and this is our first title in 12 years from the women’s side, so that’s the one that’s especially sweet for us, to get that women’s title.”
“The maturity of the groups, we’ve got a veteran crew on both sides that are all sophomores, juniors, and seniors, so just the level of maturity. They just ran like grown men and women today and a lot of confidence among the entire group.”