College cross country: Wallace, Knutson, Hartle compete in NSIC meet


MOORHEAD -- Running on a flat course Saturday on the grounds of the Southside Regional Soccer Complex, three former area high school cross country runners participated as college freshman at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) meet.

Pipestone Area’s LIvia Wallace helped Northern State University (Aberdeen, S.D.) notch a sixth-team finish among 15 women’s team as she was the fifth Wolves’ runner to enter the chute. Wallace placed 53rd overall, out of 137 total finishers, with a 6,000-meter (3.75 miles) time of 23:25.8. She was 46th in the team scoring as Northern State (4-5-42-43-46) had a score of 140, just two points off of fifth-place Minnesota State, Mankato’s total of 138.

The University of Mary (Bismarck, N.D.) won the women’s team title with 30 points (1-2-8-9-10), led by the winning individual performance of senior Alexis Zeis who ran a time of 20:49.5.

In the 12-team men’s race, which had 111 finishing runners, Logan Knutson (Heron Lake-Okabena) and Clayton Hartle (Murray County Central) were Southwest Minnesota State University’s second and third finishers, each running new personal record times for 8,000 meters or five miles. Knutson finished 73rd (60th in the team scoring) with a time of 27:13.8, while Hartle was close behind (77th, 63rd) with his time of 27:23.0.

SMSU sophomore Bashir Aidrus finished sixth with a stellar time of 24:55.3, leading the Mustangs (6-60-63-64-66) to a ninth place team-finish with 259 points. Augustana University (Sioux Falls, S.D.) won its ninth straight men’s team title with a low score of 36 (3-5-8-9-11). Mason Phillips, a sophomore at the University of Sioux Falls, was the individual champion with an 8K time of 24:06.6.

SMSU, based in Marshall, and Northern State will each run in the NCAA Division II’s Central Regional Meet in Kearney, Nebraska on Nov. 4.