Sterling College’s cross country team started its season at the Kansas Wesleyan University Coyote Invite on Sept. 14.
The women started off the season strong with a sixth-place finish at the invitation.
Freshman Sydney VanHorn started her college debut strong finishing 20th with a time of 21:44 in the 5k.
Junior Robyn Selzer was right behind her finishing with a time of 22:27 and placing 28th.
“It was honestly really good to be back on a course and racing again since COVID cancelled track season,” VanHorn said. “It was really good to be with a team running again.”
Other runners include freshman Patti Gray placing 42nd with a time of 23:30, freshman Katie Ahrens running a time of 24:38 and placing 52nd, and sophomore Casey Erickson, who placed 59th with a time of 27.38.
For the men, freshman Nathan Jones was the lone competitor for the Warriors.
He placed 50th and ran a time of 31:21 on the 8k course.
“Nathan Jones has been a strong performer so far and has improved greatly from last year. His first race at KWU was a great run, improving his personal best by over a minute and a half,” head coach Cameron Magnall said.
The team then traveled to the Newton to compete at the Tabor Cottonwood Challenge on Sept. 28.
VanHorn led the Lady Warriors with another top 20 finish. She ran a time of 21:50 and placed 19th. Selzer was a few minutes behind finishing with a time of 23:29 to place 32nd.
“Sydney VanHorn has stepped in as a freshman to be our top performer on the women’s side, having two top 20 finishes already this season and we’re excited to see her hopefully move into the all-time top 15 sometime this season,” Magnall said.
Other competitors of the women’s side include Ahrans who placed 57th with a time of 36.34 followed by freshman Chasity Bonfonti with a time of 36.44 finishing 58th.
On the men’s side, Jones ran a time of 34.17 to finish 57th.
Freshman Isiah Marris made his debut as a Warrior placing 64th with a time of 40:15, and Gavin Lierz followed with a time of 44:46 to finish 67th.
The year has not been without its challenges.
“We’ve had a few fluke injuries that occurred outside of practices that has slowed down our progression some and we haven’t had our full roster compete all at once yet, but the great things about cross country is that we just need to be healthy when the conference meet happens in November,” Magnall said.
The Warrior’s next meet will take place Oct. 9 at Bethel College.