Nebraska cross country kicked off their first meet of the season on Friday, Sept. 6 at Augustana Twilight in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The Nebraska men got the win with a team score of 69 points. Augustana, South Dakota placed second with a score of 104 points, so the Huskers won by an impressive margin.
Winning the Augustana meet felt familiar to the men’s team, as they’ve placed first six out of the past seven years.
The women’s team placed second with a score of 67 points. South Dakota won the meet with 40 points.
“[South Dakota] beat us good,” head coach David Harris said. “Maybe we need that because we are going to have to put in some good work to get closer. Everyone has to step up to some tougher training over the next eight weeks.”
The Nebraska men’s team strength was the fact they were able to stay close together, which is an important factor in cross country. Although they only had one runner place in the top ten, they still got the win due to the fact their top four runners were all within six places of each other.
Sophomore Ryan Martins was the first Husker runner to finish, placing 10th with a time of 19:26.02. Last year at this meet, Martins placed 77th, which shows how much he has improved this season.
Next came senior Jordan De Spong, placing 12th with a time of 19:27.44. Junior Mark Freyhof and sophomore Ryan Kennedy followed De Spong, placing 13th and 15th with times of 19:28.48 and 19:29.52, respectively. Sophomore Ryan Eastman rounded out the top five, placing 30th with a time of 20:01.33.
“We actually had some new guys up in the top of our order which was nice to see,” Harris said.
The Nebraska women had an impressive performance with three runners placing in the top ten. Junior Erika Freyhof lead the way, placing third with a time of 17:01.13. This was Erika’s personal best time, edging out her previous personal best of 17:18.8.
Seniors Judi Jones and Elsa Forsberg followed, placing fifth and ninth with times of 17:34.35 and 17:47.81, respectively.
Two underclassmen stepped up to round out the top five runners for the Huskers. Sophomore Gabrielle Boucher placed 24th with a time of 18:32.05 and freshman Gillian Filer was right behind, placing 26th with a time of 18:36.9.
On both the women’s and men’s side, there were underclassmen who stepped up which creates excitement for both this season and seasons to come.
The Huskers’ next meet will be its own Greeno/Dirksen Invite at Mahoney Golf Course in Lincoln. The meet will take place on Saturday, Sept. 21, with races beginning at 9 a.m.