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#8 Cross Country Continues to Thrive


It’s not every day that a college adds new varsity sports. It’s even more rare that new sports succeed immediately. Since its inception as a varsity sport at Manhattan Christian College in 2010 Cross Country has done nothing but compete at the NCCAA II level under the direction of Coach Larry Olson.

This past season the Men’s XC team led by Sr. Isaac Wilson (Tribune, KS) and Fr. Ethan Pope (Topeka, KS) was able to capture third place at the NCCAA National XC Meet. The Crusader’s scored 103 pts while putting together a team time of 2:36:40.45. That third place finish is the highest team finish ever for the Crusaders. While losing Wilson to graduation will be hard to replace the return of Ethan Pope, Logan Posson (Wichita, KS), Avery Simeka (Topeka, KS), and Derek Birney (Sublette, KS) as well as the addition of a few incoming freshmen the MXC team will look to continue to build on the success they found this past season while striving for the goal of a national championship in 2013.

On the ladies side the team did nothing short of stand their ground and fight their way to a 4th place finish at the NCCAA II National XC meet. Led by a team of underclassmen the Lady Crusaders were able to score 109 pts while running a team time of 1:56:10.55. This fourth place finish came on the heels of a 3rd place finish in 2011. Individually the women’s team was led by So. Staci Dole (Almena, KS) who placed 12th and Fr. Robin Diehl (Glendale, Az) and Krystal Zawisza (Surprise, Az) who placed 23rd and 24th respectively. With those three returning in 2013 and a slew of new runners look for the Lady Crusaders to continue their dominance and make a run at gold.