The Grinnell College men’s cross country team continued its incredible streak Saturday, as the Pioneers raced to their 14th consecutive Midwest Conference title at Gibson Woods Golf Course in Monmouth, Ill.
Alex Reich ’11 (pictured) claimed the individual title for Grinnell, running the 8-kilometer course in 25 minutes, 24.86 seconds to beat Monmouth College’s Geoff Bird by 3 seconds. Reich, third a year ago, has earned all-conference honors three times in his career.
Grinnell had four more runners in the top 10, as Erik Figge ’13 placed fourth in 25:52.58, Ben Tyler ’14 took fifth in 25:56.86, Frank Canady ’14 placed eighth in 26:00.79 and Shyam Deshpande ’11 wound up 10th in 26:06.28.
Other all-conference performers for the Pioneers were Ethan Heppner ’11 (12th in 26:14.53), Noah DeLong ’11 (13th in 26:19.41) and Sam Krauth ’14 (16th in 26:26.73). DeLong has been all-conference all four years at Grinnell, Heppner is a three-time all-conference performer and Figge has earned the honor twice.
Grinnell rolled to the team title, scoring 28 points compared to runner-up Lawrence University’s score of 81. Grinnell's Will Freeman was named MWC Men's Coach of the Year.
Hannah Colter ’12 led a charge of three Grinnell women to earn all-conference honors, placing 13th in 23:40.86 over the 6-kilometer course. She has been all-conference three times in her career.
Other all-conference runners for Grinnell were Sarah Burnell ’14, who was 15th in 23:50.95, and Leah Russell ’11, who was 16th in 23:50.97. It’s Russell’s third time being an all-conference performer.
Rounding out the Pioneers’ scorers were Catherine Bisignano ’12, 23rd in 24:12.40, and Cassidy White ’14, 26th in 24:19.94.
The individual champ was Jenny Scherer of St. Norbert College, who finished in 21:05.97. St. Norbert also won the team title with 31 points, 20 ahead of runner-up Monmouth. Carroll University placed third with 79 points and Grinnell tallied 93.
The Pioneers have next Saturday off before competing in the NCAA Division III Regional Championships the following Saturday in Waverly.